Following the Share Purchase Agreement signed between The State Assets Management Agency of the Republic of Uzbekistan (“UzSAMA”) and Coca-Cola İçecek, the acquisition of 57.118% stake in Coca-Cola Bottlers Uzbekistan, Ltd is officially completed. Tuncay Özilhan, Chairman of CCI and Anadolu Group, stated: “We are proud to take a new step that will enrich and deepen the relations between Uzbekistan and Turkey, two sibling countries with strong historical and cultural ties.” Burak Başarır, CEO of CCI, commented: “As CCI, with our 30 years of experience and learnings of operating in this region, we are confident that we can create value for the Uzbek market.”
Following the announcement made on 6 August 2021, CCI to sign a Share Purchase Agreement with The State Assets Management Agency of the Republic of Uzbekistan (“UzSAMA”) as the winner in the open sale process to privatize Coca-Cola Bottlers Uzbekistan, Ltd (“CCBU”), the acquisition is officially completed with relevant and customary approvals including governmental approvals. The closing is announced through an agreement signed on Wednesday, during the Uzbekistan Economic Forum 2021 hosted by the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
As a result of completion, and in consideration for a purchase price of USD 252.28 million paid to UzSAMA, CCI has become the holder of a 57.118% stake in CCBU. The remaining stake in CCBU is held indirectly by The Coca-Cola Company.
In his speech at the signing ceremony, Tuncay Özilhan, Chairman of CCI and Anadolu Group, stated: “We are proud to take a new step that will enrich and deepen the relations between Uzbekistan and Turkey, two sibling countries with strong historical and cultural ties. Anadolu Group has a long history of investment in Central Asia. We always believed in the region’s potential. The results of each of our investment decisions always proved the rationality of our confidence. As Anadolu Group, we wish to continue our investments to create employment for the Uzbek people and add value to the country's economy.”
Commenting on the acquisition, Mr. Burak Başarır, CEO of CCI stated: “We are very pleased that the open sale process resulted in success for us and we are very excited to have the opportunity of becoming the majority shareholder of CCBU. This transaction strengthens our position as one of the strongest partners within the Coca-Cola System. It further serves our vision to be the best FMCG player in our geographies. We have great regard for CCBU’s people and history as a local Coca-Cola bottler. We intend to grow CCBU’s business and develop its capabilities across the board, to the benefit of consumers, employees, the community and the Uzbek state. We also strongly believe in the tremendous growth potential that the Uzbek soft drinks market possesses for sustainable and profitable growth in the short to mid-term. This is in line with our quality growth algorithm. Uzbekistan is the largest Central Asian country in terms of population yet has one of the lowest per capita NARTD per Cap consumption levels. As CCI, with our 30 years of experience and learnings of operating in this region, we are confident that we can create value for the Uzbek market.”
Regarding the acquisition, Jamshid Kuchkarov, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan stated: “We are very proud of how the sale of the state share in Coca-Cola Bottlers Uzbekistan has been concluded. The whole process was based on international M&A standards with Rothschilds and Dentons assisting us. This is especially important when Uzbekistan is actively starting the privatisation of its state-owned enterprises, setting a high quality benchmark on how to do it. We are also very pleased that a well-regarded and publicly traded company, Coca-Cola Icecek, has come out as the winner of the process. This clearly demonstrates the trust in the liberalisation reforms led by His Excellency President Mirziyoyev and we welcome the participation of Turkish and international companies in future privatisation deals.”
Mr. Akmalkhon Ortikov, Director of State Assets Management Agency of the Republic of Uzbekistan (UzSAMA), noted that, headed by the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Shavkat Miromonovich Mirziyoyev, structural reforms are being implemented in the economy, steps to reduce the participation of the state and privatize state-owned enterprises are being taken, which have begun to produce their first fruit. “This transaction can be considered one of the first successful examples of privatization. CCI's entry into the Uzbek soft drinks market once again confirms the huge interest in the country's fast-growing economy and is considered a solid step by Turkish investors. I am confident that, with the CCI experience, Coca-Cola Bottlers Uzbekistan will reach a new level of quality, market development and labor productivity” said Ortikov.
CCI is a multinational beverage company which operates in Turkey, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Jordan, Iraq, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. As one of the key bottlers of the Coca-Cola system, CCI produces, distributes and sells sparkling and still beverages of The Coca-Cola Company. Together with Uzbekistan, CCI employs close to 10,000 people and has a total of 29 plants in 11 countries, offering a wide range of beverages to a consumer base of 430 million people. In addition to sparkling beverages, the product portfolio includes juices, waters, sports and energy drinks and iced teas. CCI's shares are traded on the Istanbul Stock Exchange (BIST) under the symbol "CCOLA.IS", and Eurobond is traded in the Irish Stock Exchange, under the symbol "CCOLAT".