a Financial Gazette conta como é que a Coca-Cola abafou a Schewppes deles … e a soda water.
Coca-Cola takes over Schweppes
11/4/2004 8:00:30 AM (GMT +2)
THE Coca-Cola Company has taken over the bottling operations of Schweppes Zimbabwe Limited (SZL), which it had sold off to Fidelity Life Asset Management (FLAM) last year, as it emerged that the conditions of the transaction had not been met.
SZL is the southern African region's leading producer of non-carbonated beverages and the bottler of the popular Schweppes brands, which Coca-Cola acquired from the United Kingdom-based Cadbury Schwe-ppes in a global transaction in October 2001.
The takeover of SZL by FLAM, a subsidiary of the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed ZimRe Holdings Limited, was engineered by acquisition baron Mutumwa Mawere.
Mawere, who is on the government's lengthy list of fugitive businessmen, was the controlling shareholder in ZimRe before problems set into his vast business empire, the bulk of which has since been specified.
Coca-Cola Central Africa public affairs and communications director Sheree Shereni confirmed the development.
"The contractual relationship between Coca-Cola Central Africa and FLAM has been terminated in accordance with provisions of the sale agreement entered into between the two parties.
"This means that Coca-Cola Central Africa now owns the bottling operations of Schweppes Zimbabwe Limited," Shereni said.
She said the Coca-Cola Company -- a leading global producer of beverage concentrates and syrups as well as finished beverages -- sold its products through franchised bottling and canning operations.
"Normally, the franchise operations are owned by independent third parties. However, in certain markets, the company does own interest in bottling operations for strategic reasons."
Coca-Cola has a similar relationship with Delta Corporation, the leading beverage company in the country.
Shereni revealed that Coca-Cola Central Africa's investment in the SZL bottling operations was "only for a limited period, to ensure continuity and stability in the business and the market".
"Our vision is to invest in SZL to upgrade the plant and turn SZL into a modern non-carbonated manufacturing facility whose bottling operations are owned and managed by local businessmen," Shereni added.
The transaction between Coca-Cola Central Africa and FLAM was entered into in February last year, when the parties signed a suspensive sale agreement, with the blessing of the Competition Commission.
FLAM is a subsidiary of Fidelity Life Assurance Company of Zimbabwe, itself a 52 percent controlled associate of ZimRe, in which Mawere held a 52 percent majority stake.
The tycoon, who rose to prominence on the back of breathtaking acquisitions in businesses spanning the spectrum of the economy, has watched his empire crumble following allegations he violated the country's exchange control regulations.
Mawere's intricate web of companies has been unravelled as the government has pursued his business interests.
Earlier this year, the government specified Endurite Properties, Ukubambana-Kuba-tana Investments, FSI Agricom, SMM Holdings and the publicly listed CFI Holdings -- companies in which Mawere has significant interest.
The government has since taken over SMM Holdings' asbestos mines in Zvishavane and Mashava using the controversial Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) on the reconstruction of state-indebted insolvent companies instrument.