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KOF Closes Deal with Coke's Bottler

Zacks Equity Research

Coca-Cola FEMSA S.A.B. de C.V. (KOF) completed its purchase of 51% stake in The Coca-Cola Company’s (KO) franchise bottler in Philippines, Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines, Inc., for $688.5 million in cash. The transaction was announced in December last year.

Per the agreement, Mexico’s Coca-Cola FEMSA reserves the option to acquire the remaining 49% of Coke’s Philippine bottling plant any time during the upcoming 7 years. The largest Coke bottler also has an option to sell back its 51% share to The Coca-Cola Company in the 6th year.

The deal will expand Coca-Cola FEMSA’s presence beyond Latin America to the fast emerging market of Philippines. Coca-Cola’s products are very popular in this country, which boasts one of the highest per capita consumption rates of Coca-Cola products. CCBPI is expected to generate revenues of approximately $1.1 billion in 2012. The bottler, which has 23 production plants, is expected to sell approximately 535 million unit cases of beverages in the year.

Last week, Coca-Cola FEMSA entered into a definitive agreement to acquire another Mexico-based Coca-Cola bottler, Grupo Yoli, S.A. de C.V. for $700 million. The acquisition of a majority stake in the Philippines bottler marked the 5th transaction that Coca-Cola FEMSA conducted with a Coke bottler in the last 18 months.

The Coca-Cola Company has ownership interests in many other bottling operations, including Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc., (CCE), Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company S.A. (CCH), and Coca-Cola Amatil Ltd. In Oct 2010, the company acquired Coca-Cola Enterprises’ North American bottling and distribution operations. In Dec 2011, the company acquired Coca-Cola Great Plains Bottling Company and in Feb 2012, it acquired bottling operations in Vietnam and Cambodia from Coca-Cola Sabco Limited (Sabco). In Jun 2012, Coca-Cola acquired bottling operations in Guatemala.

Coca Cola Femsa carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) while the Coca-Cola Company carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

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