Coca-Cola Expands in the Middle East


Saudi Arabia-based beverage maker and distributor Aujan Industries will bring in more than $850 million this year, partially on sales of its Rani fruit drinks and Barbican non-alcoholic beer and partially on distribution of such products as Cadbury chocolate and Lipton iced tea, according to Bloomberg. That’s more than double what the company made in 2007 and the numbers should continue to rise next year.

Why? Well, half of the company’s equity is being bought by Coca-Cola Co., which should help raise its brand awareness across the globe, the site notes. (Not to mention the nearly $1 billion in investment Coke is planning to invest in the company.)

The $980 million transaction that is expected to close in the first half of next year gives Coca-Cola 50 percent of Aujan and 49 percent of the company’s bottling and distribution revenue, Bloomberg reports. One part of Aujan’s business that Coke isn’t touching is its Iranian manufacturing and distribution business.[more]

“The Middle East is a high-growth region with some of the highest rates of non-alcoholic ready-to-drink per-capita consumption,” Ahmet C. Bozer, Coca-Cola’s group president for Eurasia and Africa, said, according to Bloomberg. “This transaction creates a platform for further cooperation between Coca-Cola Co., Aujan and existing bottling partners across the region.”

Not that Coke needs any help in grabbing further world domination. “This new relationship will potentially take our brands to many more markets that the Coca-Cola Co. operates in,” said Adel Aujan, Aujan’s chairman.

When the close finally happens, one expects plenty of raised Barbicans.

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