Coca-Cola Europe offers to buy Australian Coke bottler for $6.6 billion
UK-listed Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) has offered $6.6 billion to buy out Australia's Coca-Cola Amatil Ltd, a cut-price proposal which the latter backed due to uncertainty brought by the coronavirus.
The price is below Coca-Cola Amatil's market valuation in February, before the pandemic plunged the world into recession.
Shutdowns of restaurants and pubs since March have adversely affected Coca-Cola Amatil.
The support from the Australians reveals expectations that an economic recovery that could take years, bleaker than what some local economists have forecast.
Victoria, Australia's second-most-populous state, has just started allowing dine-in food retailers to open.
According to Coca-Cola Amatil Chief Executive Alison Watkins, there’s uncertainty over the next couple of years with the economic situation, and further health outbreaks could disrupt the business.
A spokesman for The Coca-Cola Co, which owns 31 percent of Coca-Cola Amatil and 19 percent of CCEP, said that the deal would be in the best interests of the Coca-Cola system overall and the shareowners of both companies.
CCEP, which would conduct due diligence before making a binding offer, said the deal ould almost double its consumer reach “through geographic diversification and scale.”
Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board, authorized to block overseas deals deemed to be a security or supply chain risk, would need to approve the buyout.