Saudi drinks giant announces major shake-up

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Saudi drinks giant Aujan Industries has announced a major shake-up in its operations following its partnership with the Coca-Cola Company.

The company has announced the formation of two new beverage companies - the Aujan Coca-Cola Beverages Company and Rani Refreshments.

Rani Refreshments will hold the global rights to brands such as Rani and Barbican, while the Aujan Coca-Cola Beverages Company will be an authorised manufacturer and distributer of its products.

The Aujan Coca-Cola Beverages Company will also be the licensed manufacturer in the Middle East of VIMTO.

In December 2011, Aujan Industries announced a binding agreement for The Coca-Cola Company to acquire approximately half of the equity in Aujan's existing beverage business, representing the largest-ever investment by a multinational firm in the Middle East's consumer goods sector.

A statement said the two companies will mirror the Coca-Cola system, which comprises The Coca-Cola Company and its nearly 300 bottling partners worldwide, with Rani Refreshments supplying the Aujan Coca-Cola Beverages Company with proprietary concentrate, which will then produce, sell and distribute the finished product to markets across the Middle East and beyond.

"The announcement puts the final seal on the largest-ever investment by a multinational firm in the Middle East's fast moving consumer goods sector, and marks the next stage of development for our group and our brands," said Sheikh Adel Aujan, chairman of Aujan Group Holding.

"The structure has created a platform to unlock new international opportunities for Aujan's brands and begins the next era of growth across the MENA region for the Coca-Cola system."

He added: "Although the relationship between The Coca-Cola Company and Aujan Group Holding is still new, we are already seeing real operational benefits, from the way we manufacture our products to the way we develop our brands.

"With our reorganisation now complete, we have total confidence that this new structure will allow both companies to build on their shared heritage of success to benefit our consumers, suppliers and partners for many years to come." 

The Coca-Cola Company is the world's largest beverage company, with more than 500 sparkling and still brands.

Aujan Industries, the largest privately-owned soft drinks company in the Middle East, said last year that its sales were expected to pass the $1bn mark in 2012.

The company said the growth would be driven by organic growth in core markets and expansion into new markets including Indonesia and Thailand.

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