Coca-Cola gears up for IPO of $8 billion African bottling arm, Bloomberg reports

(Reuters) -Coca-Cola is gearing up for a potential initial public offering (IPO) of its African bottling business as soon as next year, Bloomberg News reported on Monday, citing people familiar with the matter.

It may seek a valuation of more than $8 billion for the business, the report said, adding that the deliberations were at an early stage and the offering details could change.

Coca-Cola declined to comment on the news, when contacted by Reuters.

Last year, the company had noted during its third-quarter earnings it remains committed to listing Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA) as a public company once market conditions become more favorable.

The company in 2021 had said it was planning to list CCBA in 18 months, with primary listing in Amsterdam and a secondary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).

In 2022, Coca-Cola delayed plans of an estimated $3 billion IPO of CCBA, due to turbulence in the market mainly rising from the Russia-Ukraine war, which had resulted in shaky investor confidence and a dry spell for IPOs globally.

If listed, the flotation of the division would have been the biggest on the JSE since at least 2016 and a major boost for the flagging index.

(Reporting by Ananya Mariam Rajesh in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)