No changes yet, says Delta
Delta Corporation says it is now in discussions following last week’s announcement by the Coca-Cola Company (TCCC) on the acquisition of Anheuser-Busch InBev’s interest in bottling operations in specified markets but no immediate changes to its associate operations are anticipated.
In October, TCCC issued a notice of intent to terminate the Bottlers’ Agreements with Delta Corp subsidiary Delta Sparkling Beverages and associate Schweppes Holdings following the combination of AB InBev and SABMiller Plc.
Following the notice, the two companies last week announced that they had reached an agreement in principle for TCCC to acquire AB InBev’s interest in bottling operations in specified markets including Zimbabwe, for subsequent re-franchising to its preferred partners.
However, this process and any such transaction would require relevant board, shareholder and regulatory approvals, said Delta in a cautionary update yesterday.
“The company and the board are considering the implications of the Notified Intention and the Joint Statement and are engaged in discussions with the parties in this regard.
“No changes to the operations of the company and its associates are anticipated at this time and the company will continue to operate in the usual manner,” company secretary Alex Makamure said in the statement.
Sparkling beverages contributed about 24 percent of Delta’s operating income in 2016.
Coca-Cola Company will pay $3,15 billion to buy Anheuser-Busch InBev NV out of an African bottling joint venture after the Budweiser brewer’s takeover of the US beverage company’s partner in the region.
Coca-Cola also agreed to buy AB InBev’s interest in bottling operations in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Swaziland, Lesotho, El Salvador and Honduras for an undisclosed sum.
For Coca-Cola, the acquisition of AB InBev’s 54,5 percent stake in the venture provides a firm footing in a region that is probably one of the last where it can grow its core soft drinks products. — Wires.