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Coca-Cola to buy Africa bottling business from AB InBev for $3.15 billion

Staff Writer |
Coca-Cola has reached an agreement with Anheuser Busch-InBev to buy the Belgian Brewer's 54.5% equity stake in Coca-Cola Beverages Africa for $3.15 billion.

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The companies have also reached an agreement in principle for Coca-Cola to buy AB InBev's interest in bottling operations in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Swaziland, Lesotho, El Salvador and Honduras for an undisclosed amount.

Coca-Cola plans to hold all of these territories temporarily until they can be refranchised to other partners. It will account for the acquired stakes as a discontinued operation for reporting purposes.

Coca-Cola chairman and chief executive officer Muhtar Kent said: "We are pleased to have reached an agreement quickly that is in everyone's best interests.

"We will move forward with our long-term strategic plan in these important growth markets.

"We are continuing negotiations with a number of parties who are highly qualified and interested in these bottling territories and look forward to refranchising these territories as soon as practical following regulatory approval."

The deals are expected to close by the end of next year.

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