The Coca-Cola Company announced Wednesday that it would acquire Anheuser-Busch InBev's stakes in numerous overseas bottling operations next year.
The soft drink giant plans to purchase AB InBev's 54.5 percent share of Coca-Cola Beverages Africa for $3.15 billion, as well as its interests in additional bottlers in Africa and Central America for an undisclosed price.
Coca-Cola Beverages Africa, which produces and distributes Coke products in South Africa, Namibia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Ghana, Mayotte and Comoros, was founded in 2014 by Coca-Cola, SABMiller and Gutsche Family Investments. The bottler began operating this summer.
AB InBev acquired SABMiller, its largest rival, in October.
The additional distribution operations included in the announcement cover Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe, along with El Salvador and Honduras.
Coca-Cola plans to hold the acquisitions on a temporary basis and refranchise them to other partners.
“We will move forward with our long-term strategic plan in these important growth markets," Coke CEO Muhtar Kent said in a statement. "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.”