Press Releases

East Africa--IFC Invests $37 Million to Expand Beverage Company, Coca-Cola Sabco

L. Joseph
Phone:  (202) 473-7700

Fax:  (202) 974-4384


Johannesburg, South Africa, July 1, 2002—The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector lending arm of the World Bank Group, is investing US$37 million to expand the operations of Coca-Cola Sabco (East Africa) Ltd. in East Africa and Mozambique.

IFC’s investment package of loans, equity, and guarantees to local banks will supplement the already substantial re-investment by Sabco in its 13 Coca-Cola bottling plants in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, and Mozambique.  Sabco plans to spend over $125 million from 2002-2005 to expand its bottling capacity and add new products, including bottled water brands.

Coca-Cola Sabco (East Africa) Ltd. is the second largest bottler of Coca-Cola products in South Africa and the largest in East Africa.  It is owned 76 percent by Gutsche Family Investments of South Africa and 24 percent by the Coca-Cola Company of the United States.  It is one of only seven bottling groups worldwide in which Coca-Cola has a direct equity investment.  IFC will now become a shareholder in Sabco’s East African operations.  Sabco was advised by Brait Merchant Bank in sourcing and arranging the funding.

Mr. Michael Hooper, IFC’s Country Manager for Southern Africa, said, “The project will boost Sabco’s activities in the region and provide a broad range of benefits to suppliers, governments, employees, and the community.”  

Sabco directly employs over 4,000 people in East Africa.  The multiplier effect of the company’s operations is strong with as much as 60,000 people indirectly employed in the distribution and supply chain.  Sabco has a solid record as a good corporate citizen sponsoring youth sports, education programs, and in fighting AIDS.

Mr. Colin Rushmere, Sabco’s Finance Director, said, “The rationale for continuing Sabco’s expansion in East Africa and Mozambique is the relatively under-developed nature of some of the markets, particularly in Ethiopia, and the growth in population and incomes which is spurring the demand for carbonated and other soft drinks.”

IFC’s mission is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives.  IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.  Since its founding in 1956 through the close of the last fiscal year on June 30, 2001, IFC committed more than $31 billion of its own funds and arranged $20 billion in syndications for 2,636 companies in 140 developing countries.  IFC’s committed portfolio at the end of FY01 was $14.3 billion.

Coca Cola SABCO (Jersey) Ltd.