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Coca-Cola sells Appletiser shares to black-owned group

By REUTERS | 2017-05-09 10:32:04.0

Coca-Cola South Africa (CCBSA) said on Monday it had sold a 17.5 percent stake in carbonated fruit juice brand Appletiser to investment holding company African Pioneer Group, as part of a merger agreement with SABMiller.

CCBS also sold a 4 percent stake to Sipho Excellent Madlala, a manager at CCBS, as part of merger conditions stipulating it should sell 20 percent of Appletiser to a black economic empowerment holding.

Appletiser, a fruit juice based drink, was previously owned by SABMiller which merged its African soft drink operations with Coca-Cola to become the continent's biggest Coke drinks bottler.

The agreement handed 20 brands including Appletiser, whose fruit juice concentrate is sourced from South African producers, to Coke.

SABMiller was acquired by the world's largest brewer, Anheuser-Busch InBev, in a $100 billion plus deal last year in one of the largest corporate mergers in history which takes the company into Africa for the first time.

The sale of the shares will give a seat on the board of Appletiser to APG and Madlala. Madlala will retain his role in the company following the transaction, Coca-Cola said.

African Pioneer Group is a holding company with interests in fishing, gaming, beverages and mining, engineering & energy.

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