Three Coca-Cola bottling plants are to merge into what is likely to be Kenya’s second largest beverage bottling company after Nairobi Bottlers.
Kisii Bottlers, Mount Kenya Bottlers and Rift Valley Bottlers will run under a newly created entity — Almasi Beverages Ltd, subject to regulatory approvals.
The merger is expected to be completed in three months. The new entity will have a combined valuation of Sh4.2 billion and will be the biggest in terms of land area.
“We will be able to enjoy the benefits that come with economies of scale, negotiate for better discounts with our suppliers and enhance the overall shareholder value,” Mr John Simba, the chairman of Kisii Bottlers Ltd, said on Thursday.
He said he was speaking on behalf Mount Kenya Bottlers Ltd and Rift Valley Bottlers.
The three also plan to have a central administration and management team of nine directors.
The company was quick to allay fears that the merger would result in job losses as it often happened in such business decisions.
“We want to assure all our employees and stakeholders that there will be no job losses given that all the three bottlers will continue to operate as they have been only that some functions such as procurement will be shared,” Mr Simba said.
The three companies currently employ an average of 120 workers each and hire hundreds of others on contract in high seasons.
The merger will leave Kisumu-based Equator Bottlers, Coast Bottlers and Nairobi Bottlers as the other local Coca-Cola entities.