Coca-Cola resumes production in Uzbekistan

Photo: Coca-Cola resumes production in Uzbekistan
 / Uzbekistan

Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Aug. 18

By Demir Azizov - Trend:

Coca-Cola Bottlers Uzbekistan Ltd. (known as Coca-Cola Ichimligi Uzbekiston) resumed production and began to supply its products to the trade network, Uzbek Food Industry Enterprises Association told Trend Aug. 18.

Coca-Cola Bottlers Uzbekistan Ltd. - a joint venture - was established in 1993. It has not been producing its goods since mid-2013.

The joint venture's founders were the Coca-Cola Export Corporation, ROZ Trading Ltd. and the Food Industry Enterprises Association. Each of them owned 33.3 percent shares in the joint venture.

However, ROZ Trading increased its share up to controlling package (55.055 percent) following several deals. Meanwhile, the newly created ROZ Trading Uzbekistan, a wholly-owned subsidiary of ROZ Trading, became the fourth stakeholder in Coca-Cola Bottlers Uzbekistan Ltd. with a 9.947 percent share.

Coca-Cola Export Corporation owned 32.998 percent in the enterprise by 2001, while the Food Industry Enterprises Association owned two percent shares.

In 2001, Uzbekistan's Economic Court declared illegal the deals on increasing ROZ Trading's shares in the joint venture. The company was also sued for breaching the tax and currency legislation.

ROZ Trading Uzbekistan was declared bankrupt in April, 2002. The court decided to withdraw ROZ Trading's 23.416 percent share in the Coca-Cola Bottlers Uzbekistan Ltd. to repay the company's debts to the state.

In September 2003, Uzbek Food Industry Enterprises Association and Coca-Cola Export Corporation signed an agreement on Coca-Cola Bottlers Uzbekistan Ltd. and the charter's new version, according to which the Food Industry Enterprises Association owned 57.118 percent of shares, while Coca-Cola Export Corporation had a share of 42.882 percent.

In 2004, Uzbek State Property Committee sold the shares of the Food Industry Enterprises Association in the Coca-Cola Bottlers Uzbekistan Ltd. to Muzimpex JV.

It should be noted that Muzimpex' controlling package of shares was at that time owned by the company Zeromax GmbH (Switzerland).

In 2010, Zeromax was declared bankrupt and its assets were put under arrest.

In 2013, a group of managers of the Coca-Cola Bottlers Uzbekistan Ltd. was arrested for financial violations, and the joint venture ceased production.

Under the government decision, Zeromax' 57.118 percent shares in the joint venture were handed over to the Center for State Assets Management of Uzbek State Committee on Privatization, Demonopolization and Development of Competition.

Currently, Coca-Cola Bottlers Uzbekistan Ltd. has three plants - one in the capital Tashkent, and the other two ones in the cities of Namangan and Urgench.

The total capacity of all the plants is 142 million liters of soft drinks per year.

Edited by S.I.

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