By Andy Sambidge
Aujan Coca Cola Beverages Co buys majority stake in National Beverage Company
A unit of Saudi drinks giant Aujan Industries said on Monday it has completed a deal to buy a majority stake in National Beverage Company, the manufacturer and distributor of Coca-Cola and Pampa products in Lebanon.
Aujan Coca Cola Beverages Company (ACCBC) said in a statement that it has acquired the stake from Transmed, a consumer products distributor, which retains a holding in NBC.
"The deal enables NBC to benefit from ACCBC's significant expertise and scale. It also ensures Lebanese consumers continue to enjoy real choice within the local market," the statement said.
Nicolaas Nusmeier, CEO of ACCBC, said: "We are delighted to have completed this important transaction. ACCBC has seen consistent growth in virtually all of our markets over a long period, and we plan to replicate this performance with NBC by focusing on increasing its market share within Lebanon.
"We have entered into this partnership with Transmed with the clear intention of growing NBC and its people over the long term. We are also keen to tap into the local talent pool as the business expands."
Fouad Es-Said, chairman and CEO of Transmed, added: "This deal brings long term direct investment into Lebanon and into one of the major bottling companies in the market. ACCBC's track record and leading position in the drinks manufacturing sector is impressive, so we see this partnership as a promising opportunity to grow and develop NBC over the long term."
Aujan Coca-Cola Beverages Company was established following a $1 billion partnership between The Coca-Cola Company and Aujan Industries.
The company is the authorised manufacturer of brands including Rani and Barbican, and is also the licensed manufacturer in the Middle East of Vimto.
ACCBC currently operates from 15 countries across the Middle East and its products are sold in more than 70 markets worldwide.
ACCBC currently operates from two manufacturing facilities in the Middle East, located in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, and Dubai.
Last year, Aujan Industries announced a major shake-up in its operations following its partnership with the Coca-Cola Company.
The company announced the formation of two new beverage companies - the Aujan Coca-Cola Beverages Company and Rani Refreshments.
Rani Refreshments holds the global rights to brands such as Rani and Barbican, while the Aujan Coca-Cola Beverages Company is an authorised manufacturer and distributer of its products.