African Pioneer Group buys 17.5% stake in Appletiser

8th May 2017 By: Anine Kilian - Contributing Editor Online

Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) has sold 17.5% of its shareholding in Appletiser South Africa (ASA) to black-owned investment company African Pioneer Group (APG).

A further 4% stake in ASA has been sold to black empowerment partner Sipho Excellent Madlala.

The sale meets one of the merger conditions agreed with the Competition Tribunal in relation to the creation of CCSBA last year.
Appletiser was previously wholly owned by SABMiller but with the merger, ASA became a subsidiary of CCBSA, the South African operation of Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA). 
Following the brand sale, the operating model of ASA changed from one of an owned-brand production company to a licensed manufacturer of The Coca-Cola Company (TCCC) brands.
“Merger conditions stipulated that ASA’s operations in Elgin will be maintained and that CCBSA will sell 20% of Appletiser in South Africa to a black economic empowerment holding, which we have concluded ahead of the required timeline,” CCBSA MD Velaphi Ratshefola said in a statement on Monday.
He added that there were plans for ASA to produce other TCCC brands, in addition to Tisers, that are currently produced at the other CCBSA manufacturing sites.

“With the addition of 200 ml, 330 ml and 440 ml cans of other Coca-Cola products, the facility will produce around five-million cases which is more than prevailing volumes at the time of the merger,” he noted.
Under the terms of the merger agreement, at least 80% of the apples, pears, grapes and similar fruit inputs used for all juice concentrate used in producing Tiser products will be procured from fruit grown in South Africa, and plans are in progress to increase the procurement of South African grapes for juice concentrate in Grapetiser over the next five years.

Currently, all apple and pear concentrate is sourced from South Africa, with grape concentrate increasingly sourced locally, depending on availability and affordability of supply.