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Sunday, January 29, 2023
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Latham guides ECCBC´s acquisition of ABC

Latham & Watkins has advised Equatorial Coca-Cola Bottling Company (ECCBC) on its acquisition, through its Moroccan subsidiaries, of Coca-Cola's bottler in the Northern and Eastern regions of Morocco, Atlas Bottling Company (ABC), from its majority shareholder Diana Holding S.A. and certain minority shareholders

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The transaction will enable ECCBC to manage its expanded business through an integrated bottling platform and to serve the Moroccan market more effectively and efficiently, creating value for all stakeholders of the Coca-Cola System, including consumers, customers and suppliers.

ECCBC is the official bottler/distributor of Coca-Cola in 13 countries in North and West Africa and can look back on over 30 years of experience. The group is committed to continuing to invest, employ, manufacture and distribute locally, while contributing to the social and economic well-being of the communities it serves.

This operation is also part of Diana Holding’s strategy to strengthen its positioning in other agribusinesses, to reorganise its portfolio of holdings, and to capitalise on its almost 50 years of experience in bottling to continue to develop its know-how in the fields of plastics processing and distribution. It also comes after the completion, at the end of 2021, of a strategic review of Diana Holding’s portfolio aimed at launching new investments and deploying a new course to align its assets, strengthen synergies between its subsidiaries and accelerate its development, particularly on the African continent.

Alfonso Bosch, CEO of the ECCBC Group, said: “As a company headquartered in Morocco, we are deeply invested in this country and in the African continent. We approach the acquisition of Atlas Bottling Company with great optimism and look forward to creating opportunities for all stakeholders in the Moroccan still and carbonated drinks market. We are also committed to continuing the Diana Holding and ABC legacy of service and excellence. We are proud of our role in the Coca-Cola System and this transaction further strengthens our position as the leading bottler in Africa.

Rothschild & Co acted as exclusive financial advisor to ECCBC, and Latham & Watkins LLP and Bennani & Associés acted as lead counsel and local counsel, respectively.

Latham & Watkins advised ECCB with a cross-border team led by Corporate partner Ignacio Pallarés, together with Corporate associate Carmen Esteban, Antitrust partner José María Jiménez-Laiglesia, Antitrust associate Carlos Betoret, Finance counsel Luis Sánchez, Finance associate Aitor Errasti, Tax partner Iván Rabanillo and Tax associate Ana Serrano. Latham Paris office advised with a Corporate team formed by partner Alexander Benedetti and associate Rim Benzakour.

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