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South Africa approves SABMiller, Coke deal with conditions

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Staff writer ▼ | May 11, 2016
South Africa coke
Merger   $53 million investment to support small businesses

South Africa's Competition Tribunal conditionally approved a SABMiller and Coca-Cola deal to combine their African soft drink operations into what would be the continent's biggest Coke drinks bottler.

In a bid to fast-track the antitrust probe, SABMiller and Coca-Cola struck a deal with the South African government earlier this month that included an 800 million rand ($53 million) investment to support small businesses and a three-year freeze on layoffs.

The Competition Tribunal said the deal can go ahead subject to several conditions. These include the enlarged group limiting job cuts to 250, providing business skills to 25,000 black retailers and ensuring it purchases cans, glass, sugar, fruits and crates from local suppliers.

The Coca-Cola Beverages Africa merger parties welcomed the Competition Tribunal's approval saying in a statement they expect the transaction to complete as soon as practicable.

Brewer SABMiller, which is in the process of being taken over by Anheuser-Busch InBev, agreed in November 2014 to team up with Coke and the South African owners of local bottler Coca-Cola Sabco to create Coca-Cola Beverages Africa.

Coca-Cola Beverages Africa, which will account for 40 percent of all Coke volumes sold in Africa, will be headquartered in South Africa, its largest market.

It will have annual sales of $2.9 billion and operations in 12 markets across Southern and East Africa.


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