Nedbank Private Equity’s successful divestiture of its equity stake in The Beverage Company


In 2014 NPE purchased an equity stake in Little Green Beverages (LGB). At that point in time, LGB was a small regional carbonated soft drink (CSD) manufacturer in the Eastern Cape, with a brand called Refreshhh.

With 3 years into our LGB investment, Ethos Private Equity, now The Rohatyn Group (TRG), teamed up with NPE in a buy-and-build investment thesis, with LGB as the cornerstone asset in a platform to build a large carbonated soft drinks manufacturer in South Africa.

In the following 2 years, BevCo successfully bought Quality Beverages, a regional Cape Town CSD manufacturer producing the Jive brand, and Shoreline Beverages, a regional KwaZulu-Natal CSD manufacturer producing the Coo-ee brand. These acquisitions created South Africa’s 2nd-largest beverage manufacturing company.

BevCo now boasts annual sales exceeding R4,5 billion, selling over 62 million cases of carbonated soft drinks annually and is the owner of 4 large regional brands in Refreshh, Coo-ee , Jive and Reboost. BevCo is also the exclusive manufacturer of Pepsi in South Africa and several neighbouring countries.

Varun is a key player in the beverage industry and among the largest manufacturers and distributors of PepsiCo products outside the United States of America. Their investment in BevCo is their 1st investment in South Africa and represents significant foreign direct investment in the country by a company looking to grow the portfolio of the international and home-grown brands it has acquired.

Varun has been associated with PepsiCo since the 1990s and has, over 2 and half decades, consolidated its business association with PepsiCo, increasing the number of licensed territories and subterritories, producing, and distributing a wider range of PepsiCo beverages.