Coca-Cola agrees to purchase Nigerian juicer

Coca-Cola Co. brand Coke caffeine-free soda cans sit on display in an arranged photograph taken in Princeton, Illinois, US. (Bloomberg pic)

JOHANNESBURG: Coca-Cola agreed to buy the majority of Nigerian juice maker “CHI” that it didn’t already own as the US soft drinks giant expands away from high-sugar drinks and into emerging markets.

The Atlanta-based company acquired 40% of the maker of Chivita juice three years ago, and at the time said the intention was to eventually fully take over the Lagos-based company. Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country with an estimated population of as much as 200 million.

Coca-Cola didn’t give a valuation in its statement on Wednesday, but the Financial Times said in 2016 the 40% stake cost about US$240 million. Last year, the firm agreed to pay more than US$5 billion for the UK’s Costa coffee chain, also part of a diversification away from its ubiquitous flagship brand, which is sold in more than 200 countries.

The shares rose almost 1% on Wednesday in New York, where Coca-Cola was listed 100 years ago, for a market value of US$204 billion.