Coca-Cola seeks to acquire SABMiller products

Kgalagadi Breweries is an accredited Coca- Cola bottle
Kgalagadi Breweries is an accredited Coca- Cola bottle

Global leader in the beverage industry, Coca-Cola Company is set to acquire the Appletiser and Source brands, both products of SABMiller Plc.

SABMiller Plc is the parent company to SABMiller International BV. In Botswana, it controls and operates through Kgalagadi Breweries as one of its key principal subsidiaries.

The deal involves separating ownership of brands and bottling activities and as such has its products prepared, bottled and distributed by authorised entities, referred to as ‘bottlers’.

Kgalagadi Breweries is an accredited Coca-Cola bottler in Botswana – authorised to produce, sell and distribute finished products including Coca-Cola, Fanta, Sprite, Tab, Stoney and Sparletta.


Kgalagadi Breweries or KBL sources and imports from Appletiser South Africa some of the finished Appletiser branded products, specifically, Appletiser and Grapetiser, for distribution within Botswana. Appletiser South Africa is a wholly owned subsidiary of the South African Breweries which is, in turn, a subsidiary of SABMiller Plc. On the other hand, Source, a water brand, is manufactured and distributed in Botswana by Kgalagadi Breweries under the Source brand.

According to a statement from the Competition Authority (CA), in the transaction, Coca-Cola seeks to acquire the rights’ title and interest in and to all trademarks related to the Appletiser and Source brands, owned by SABMiller International BV, a subsidiary to SABMiller Plc.

In November last year, the Coca-Cola company indicated that it would buy Appletiser and 19 other soft drink brands from SABMiller for $260 million, as part of a larger deal to create a dominant African bottler of Coca-Cola products with SABMiller and a private firm.

Earlier on, president of Coca-Cola’s Eurasia and Africa unit was quoted as saying that Appletiser is a “fantastic brand”, noting that it is growing across a number of markets in Africa and outside Africa.

Appletiser, a specialist rather than mass-market type brand, was started in the Western Cape in 1966 and has since grown to be available to consumers in more than 30 countries.  But despite its growth, it is said that much of Appletiser’s success abroad has hinged on Coca-Cola’s franchise model, where third parties bottle and distribute the carbonated apple juice.

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