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Sobo acquisition nears completion

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By Justin Mkweu

Castel Malawi will no longer be manufacturing and distributing soft drinks such as Squash, Coca-Cola and Quench water from July 1 this year as acquisition of its soft drink operation by Coca- Cola Beverages Limited reaches completion stage.

This is according to a statement released by the company over the weekend, which added that Southern Bottlers Limited (Sobo) has agreed to sell its soft drinks business to Coca- Cola Beverages Limited (CCBL), a subsidiary of Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA).

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The statement further said the transaction is expected to be closed mid-June 2022 after all regulatory approvals from Comesa, Malawi Revenue Authority and Malawi Bureau of Standards.

”Both parties to the transaction are making every effort to ensure a smooth transition that is in the best interest of all employees, stakeholders, commercial partners, and consumers to accelerate ease of investment, creation of employment, innovation for consumers and secure growth and enhancement of the socio-economic fabric of Malawi,” the statement reads.

The company further says, in the international context, where the two players of the beverages business have decided to end their partnership, CCBL will take over the production and distribution of the Coca- Cola, Sobo and Quench brands in Malawi.

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This means that Castel will only be producing and distributing, for domestic and international consumption, alcoholic beverages such as the flagship Malawi Gin, Carlsberg Green, Special and Chill among others.

Since Castel took over the production of different drinks, it has not introduced any soft drink but it has introduced many alcoholic beverages such as Booster ciders, Shandie and Dopel Munich.

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