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SA approves SABMiller, Coke bottling deal with conditions

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Johannesburg - The Competition Tribunal on Tuesday conditionally approved a SABMiller and Coca-Cola deal to combine their African soft drink operations into what would be the continent's biggest Coke drinks bottler.

In a bid to fast-track the antitrust probe, SABMiller and Coca-Cola struck a deal with the South African government earlier this month that included an R800m ($53m) investment to support small businesses and a three-year freeze on layoffs.

The Competition Tribunal said the deal can go ahead subject to several conditions. These include the enlarged group limiting job cuts to 250, providing business skills to 25 000 black retailers and ensuring it purchases cans, glass, sugar, fruits and crates from local suppliers.

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