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India’s Varun Beverages completes acquisition of SA’s BevCo

BevCo is one of the largest carbonated soft drinks producers in Southern Africa, and holds franchise rights for PepsiCo in South Africa, Lesotho and Eswatini.

The Rohatyn Group (TRG), a global asset manager specialising in emerging markets and real assets, has announced the finalisation of the sale of The Beverage Company (BevCo) to India-based Varun Beverages (VBL), a leading bottler for PepsiCo, in a R3-billion deal.

BevCo was established in 2018 through the acquisition and merger of Little Green Beverages and SoftBev. The company is the largest independently owned beverage producer and distributor in South Africa.

BevCo’s portfolio consists of brands Jive, Coo-ee and Reboost. BevCo and it also bottles and distributes PepsiCo-branded beverages in SA and has five manufacturing facilities in the country with an installed capacity of 3,600 bottles per minute, in addition to operations in Lesotho, Eswatini, Namibia, and Botswana.

TRG Partner Jonathan Matthews commented, Since 2018, the number of total employees at the company has increased nearly four times, and the company reached gross sales of approximately 63 million cases per year.

“The product offering also expanded, adding the manufacturing and distribution of PepsiCo brands in the region. The company has achieved growth through innovation in its products and services, regional expansion, and a focus on sustainable business practices.”

BevCo CEO, Peter Spies, said, “Management and shareholders had a clear long-term aspiration for the business and remained focused on accelerating the execution of new revenue streams and building scale, while retaining alignment with key stakeholders.

“The sale of BevCo to Varun Beverages has proven that scaled South African businesses have the potential to attract global trade players to the continent.”

Glynn Potgieter, MD at TRG, and board member of BevCo, added, “Having invested in 2017, The Rohatyn Group’s Africa Private Equity team together with our partners and the management team have built a focused non-alcoholic beverage platform. We executed our original investment thesis over a seven-year period and today the consolidated BevCo is in excess of three times the size and continues to grow its market share organically.

“VBL brings significant resources and expertise to invest in BevCo’s product offering and grow PepsiCo’s brands in Southern Africa, while expanding their presence on the continent.”

Source: RMB, BusinessWire.com

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