Emerging Capital Partners announces investment in Algerian bottling business, Atlas Bottling Corporation

14 Mar 2014

  •  ABC is PepsiCo’s exclusive Bottler in Algeria
  •  ECP, the Pan-African specialist, gains exposure to Africa’s third-largest soft drinks sector; focusing further on the fast-growing consumer market

London and Algiers, 14 March 2014: Emerging Capital Partners (ECP), the pan-African private equity firm, today announces a 33% stake in Atlas Bottling Corporation (ABC), the exclusive PepsiCo bottler of carbonated soft drinks (CSD) in Algeria, as part of an $80m investment plan.

Founded in 1995, ABC signed an Exclusive Bottling Agreement with PepsiCo in 1998 and has grown to become one of Algeria's leading beverage players with a portfolio of global brands including, Pepsi Cola, Pepsi Max, Mirinda, and Seven-up. A mix of growth equity, provided by ECP, and debt, from commercial banks, will be used to increase bottling capacity, build a new production site and give the company flexibility to develop new product categories. ECP will also provide technical assistance to the management team, supporting them in professionalizing business functions such as governance and compliance.

Commenting on the announcement, Djamel Mehri, owner of ABC said: “Since 1995, Group Mehri has been engaged in developing Pepsi products in Algeria, addressing the fast-growing CSD demand. Our family has enjoyed an excellent and longstanding relationship with PepsiCo, and today, we are delighted to welcome ECP as a partner. With its proven track record, industry experience and regional insights, ECP is the right investor to join forces with and support ABC in its next growth phase.” Djamel Boulkedid, CEO at ABC said: “Quality and expertise are deep-rooted in the ABC culture and we are delighted that this has been recognized on a global stage. The facts of our success speak for themselves: sales have grown consistently year-on-year as has our market share. We look forward to the next stage of growth, supported by market-leading private equity firm ECP.”

Commenting further, William Nkontchou Director of the ECP Paris office, said: “Algeria is Africa‟s third-largest soft drinks market and ABC‟s established track record in the sector sets it apart from its competitors. We seek to back proven global business models, like ABC, that are being pursued across Africa and deployed to international standards. We look forward to working alongside the management team as it continues to build on its successes.” Marwan Istaitie, General Manager for the East Mediterranean and Africa Business Unit at PepsiCo added: “We have enjoyed a long-standing and productive relationship with ABC combining the power of our globally recognized brands with a well-established distribution platform in Algeria. We are delighted to continue our relationship as ABC moves into its next growth phase with the support of ECP.”

ECP has a record of successful investment in Algeria, including Orascom Telecom Algeria, in the telecommunications sector and Générale Assurance Méditerranéenne (GAM) in financial services.

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