newsBL Premium reports that Coca-Cola Beverages SA (CCBSA) on Friday announced that it would transfer an additional 10% of shares to its employees, in a move to enhance its black economic empowerment (BEE) status and meet its revised merger conditions.  

The announcement means that 8,000 employees who already hold 5% of the private company will now own 15% and, along with other partners, the company will be 20% black-owned.  The transaction, the value of which was not disclosed, will be vendor financed and will run for 10 years.  Employees will receive trickle dividends from day one.  CCBSA also announced that it would enable trade unions to appoint two independent trustees to serve on the board of directors to give further effect to the empowerment effort.  When CCBSA merged with three bottling operations in 2016, among the conditions set by the Competition Tribunal was that the company take on a BEE partner.  Friday’s announcement followed a variation of the agreement made final last week.  MD Velaphi Ratshefola said:  “It’s not just the financial benefit of the scheme but also the fact that the employees have representation on the board and can shape the outcome of the business. That is real empowerment.”  Trade, industry and competition minister Ebrahim Patel described the CCBSA scheme as one of the biggest employee ownership schemes in SA and said it would “strengthen a more inclusive transformation and BEE model”.


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