Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) announced this week that it had sold 17.5 percent of its shareholding in Appletiser to black-owned investment company African Pioneer Group (APG).
A further 4 percent has also been sold to a new entrant black empowerment partner, Sipho Excellent Madlala, a 20-year veteran of Coca-Cola. The value of the respective stakes was not disclosed.
The deal marks a significant milestone in the history of an iconic South African brand that has earned the loyalty of South African consumers.
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The sale of the equity stakes was sealed after a rigorous process of evaluation and selection, facilitated by Standard Bank, and meets one of the merger conditions agreed to with the Competition Tribunal in relation to the creation of CCBSA last year, agreed when the Southern and East African non-alcoholic ready-to-drink operations of SABMiller, The Coca-Cola Company (TCCC) and the Gutsche Family Investments were combined last May.
Appletiser was previously wholly owned by SABMiller, but with the merger, the manufacturing facility, ASA, became a subsidiary of CCBSA, the South African operation of Coca-Cola Beverages Africa.
The Tiser brands, Appletiser, Grapetiser and Peartiser, also previously owned by SABMiller, were sold to TCCC as part of the CCBSA merger agreements.
As part of the merger conditions the company undertook that Appletiser’s operations in Elgin, as well as related ASA operations, would be maintained and grown and that CCBSA would sell 20 percent of Appletiser in South Africa to a black economic empowerment holding which was concluded ahead of the required timeline.
APG will have a seat on the board of Appletiser, with the firm’s chief executive, Stephen Dondolo, already having been on the CCBSA board and the Coca-Cola Fortune board before that.
BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE