Ethos and Nedbank’s LGB buys SoftBev

Little Green Beverages, the producer of South Africa’s range of Refreshhh! soft drinks which was backed by Ethos Private Equity and Nedbank Private Equity in 2017, has agreed to buy SoftBev in an all cash deal. At a minimum, the deal values the soft drink producer and bottling company at R563 million or $46.5 million, an amount that could rise to as much as $89 million, depending on the EBITDA that SoftBev achieves for its 2018 fiscal year which comes to a close at the end of June.

The sellers of the business are Bowler Metcalf, a JSE-listed plastic packaging manufacturer which holds a 41.38% interest in the firm, as well as SoftBev’s founders. The firm came into being in 2015, following the merger of Shoreline Sales & Distribution and Quality Beverages, two well-established businesses in South Africa. The deal is expected to help scale the combined businesses rapidly, adding Coo-ee, Jive and Reboost to Little Green Brands’ portfolio as well the rights to produce Capri-Sun under licence in South Africa. SoftBev is also the sole licensed bottler for Pepsi and its related brands in South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland and has distribution rights in Botswana and Namibia.

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