Centum sells stakes in Almasi Beverages, Nairobi Bottlers to Coca-Cola Sabco East Africa

The deal has a total valuation of 19.5 billion shillings (about R2.8 billion).

Nairobi and Uganda Securities Exchanges-listed Centum Investments has announced the sale of its shareholding in Almasi Beverages and Nairobi Bottlers to Coca-Cola Sabco East Africa.  

Centum Investments, an investment holding company, holds a 53.9 percent stake in Almasi Beverages and a 27.6 percent stake in Nairobi Bottlers.

The deal has a total valuation of 19.5 billion shillings (about R2.8 billion). Subject to regulatory approval, the deal is set to be closed in the next four months.

The sale will see Coca-Cola Sabco East Africa hold 100 percent of the Nairobi Bottlers. Centum will use the proceeds from the sale of Almasi Beverges and Nairobi Bottlers to settle debt and invest in its private equity and marketable securities portfolios.

“The achieved exit valuation speaks to the success of our investment cycle and portfolio management strategy that included consolidation of 3 bottlers into Almasi Beverages and acquisition of a majority stake in the business.

“The proceeds from these transactions will be applied towards repaying our current U.S. dollar-denominated bank term loans of 7.5 billion shillings (R1.1 billion), which will result in finance cost savings of 700 million shillings (R101 million),” Centum said in a statement.

In 2016, Centum raised its stake in Almasi Beverages to 53.8 percent after investing US$10 million (R148 million) through a rights issue in the bottling company.

With a market share of about 29 percent of the carbonated soft drinks market in Kenya, Almasi is second-largest Coca-Cola bottler after NBL.

Almasi Beverages is the holding company for Kisii Bottlers, Mount Kenya Bottlers based in Nyeri and Rift Valley Bottlers in Uasin Gishu County and has unveiled plans of setting up an additional bottling plant in Eldoret.