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Expert analysis in Africa's largest bottling merger

Genesis Analytics was appointed jointly by The Coca-Cola Company, SABMiller and Coca-Cola Sabco to provide expert economic advice regarding the creation of Coca-Cola Beverages Africa, the largest Coca-Cola bottler on the African continent.

The transaction was investigated and approved by the competition authorities of Botswana, Kenya, Namibia, Tanzania, the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA) and, lastly, South Africa.

Genesis met the many and varied challenges thrown up by this transaction, such as the fact that it involved some of the largest beverage and bottling firms across multiple jurisdictions and, more significantly, that it became a landmark public interest case in South Africa. Genesis is fast-becoming a leading provider of economic assessments of public interest concerns in merger control, with this transaction following its key contributions to the assessment of employment issues in the Walmart-Massmart merger, amongst others.

In this case, our work was a focal point in negotiations between the merging parties, the Minister of Economic Development and the Competition Commission over two conditions.

The first related to employment, where Genesis provided analysis relating to the headcount condition and its appropriate duration. The employment condition approved by the Competition Tribunal is limited to three years.

The second related to a requirement that the merged firm allow its competitors to access Coca-Cola-branded coolers. Our use of robust survey analysis provided a factual basis to determine the appropriate limits to this access conditions.

This condition was also approved by the Competition Tribunal.

In addition to addressing the various competition concerns raised by the authorities that investigated this transaction, our analysis of these public interest issues assisted in finalising a lengthy process with a positive outcome for all parties involved.

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