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Coca-Cola European Partners in talks to acquire Amatil

LaToya Harding
·Contributor
·3 min read
UK-based Coca-Cola European Partners is the world’s largest independent bottler of Coca-Cola by revenue, with a market value of $17.7bn (£13.6bn). Photo: Reuters/Joshua Lott
UK-based Coca-Cola European Partners is the world’s largest independent bottler of Coca-Cola by revenue, with a market value of $17.7bn (£13.6bn). Photo: Reuters/Joshua Lott

Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) is in advanced talks to buy Australia's Coca-Cola Amatil (CCL.AX) as it seeks to expand in Asia Pacific, Bloomberg reported on Saturday.

If the deal goes ahead it will be the largest involving an Australian company this year, uniting European and Australian bottlers.

Details are yet to be finalised but could be announced within a few days, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

UK-based CCEP is the world’s largest independent bottler of Coca-Cola by revenue, with a market value of $17.7bn (£13.6bn). It has 48 production sites in Great Britain, Germany, Spain and elsewhere, according to its website.

CCEP was formed from a three-way merger of Coca-Cola Enterprises, Coca-Cola Iberian Partners and Germany’s Coca-Cola Erfrischungsgetränke in 2015. US-based Coca-Cola (KO) owns a 19.11% stake in the company, data from Refinitiv Eikon shows.

Meanwhile, Sydney-based Amatil, which is a dominant play in the Asia Pacific region, has a market value of around A$7.8bn (£4.3bn). It has 32 production sites in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.

Shares in CCEP were halted on Friday pending an announcement on a “potential material transaction.”

Soft drinks companies have been under pressure in recent years due to the introduction of the sugar tax and as the popularity of sugary drinks declines.

Earlier this month a government report revealed that the UK has seen a 44% reduction in sugar content per 100ml in drinks covered by the sugar tax. The UK’s Soft Drinks Industry Levy (SDIL) was introduced in 2018.

The figures, published by Public Health England, highlighted that total sugar purchase per household from drinks subject to the SDIL has decreased across all socio-economic groups.

READ MORE: Sugar in soft drinks plummets by nearly a third in three years

In August CCEP posted a 26% fall in revenue in the second quarter and a 48% slump in first half profits as the coronavirus closed restaurants, businesses and convenience stores across the continent.

It saw a sharp decline in away from home volumes, which tumbled 50% due to lockdown measures across its key markets. Its home channel was also impacted by the outbreak, with sales down 3.5%.

Damian Gammell, CCEP chief executive, said: “This crisis has had an unprecedented impact on our business and the communities we serve across Europe.

“Many of our customers continue to operate at significantly reduced capacity and on-the-go consumption remains under pressure.

“We are focused on leveraging our solid capabilities to drive a robust second half recovery and we are confident about the future of our business, led by an even stronger sustainability and digital agenda.”

CCEP share closed down 1.14% on Friday.

Yahoo Finance has reached out to Coca-Cola European Partners for comment.

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