Coca-Cola Amatil Gets A$9.28 Billion Takeover Offer from CCEP -- Update
By Mike Cherney and David Winning
SYDNEY--Coca-Cola Amatil Ltd. said it had received a takeover
proposal worth 9.28 billion Australian dollars (US$6.62 billion)
from the company that bottles Coca-Cola products in Western
Coca-Cola Amatil said the indicative cash offer of A$12.75 per
share to independent shareholders follows several other recent
proposals made by Coca-Cola European Partners PLC, and it had
agreed to allow the bidder to carry out confirmatory due
Coca-Cola Amatil said its independent directors, as well as
Managing Director Alison Watkins, planned to unanimously recommend
the takeover assuming certain conditions are met and unless a
superior offer is received. The offer price represents a 23%
premium to the one-week volume-weighted average price of Coca-Cola
Amatil's shares, the company said.
The European bottler also plans to buy Coca-Cola Co.'s shares in
Amatil, but on less favorable terms than those offered to other
shareholders. Coca-Cola Co. has a roughly 30% stake in Coca-Cola
Amatil. The sale of Coca-Cola Co.'s shares would be contingent on
the European bottler's deal for the Coca-Cola Amatil going
Coca-Cola Amatil said there is no certainty the proposal will
result in a transaction. Its independent shareholders will
ultimately have to vote to approve the deal.
Coca-Cola Amatil is one of the largest bottlers and distributors
of ready-to-drink beverages in Asia-Pacific and one of the world's
largest bottlers of Coke products. It employs some 12,000 people
and sells products in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Indonesia and
Papua New Guinea.
Like other beverage companies, Coca-Cola Amatil has struggled in
recent years as consumers shifted away from sugary soft drinks,
particularly in Australia, its main market. The coronavirus
pandemic has also presented a challenge as higher-margin bar and
restaurant sales lagged and consumers turned to lower-margin
Underscoring the coronavirus impact, Coca-Cola Amatil said
Monday its trading revenue in the third quarter of 2020 was down
more than 4% compared to the same period of 2019, and volumes were
down by more than 5%. However, Coca-Cola Amatil said that was an
improvement on earlier in the year. It also said there was more
momentum in the first three weeks of October, with Australia and
New Zealand both delivering volume growth of more than 1%.
"It is pleasing to report that we are seeing earnings momentum
return in markets where Covid-19 trading restrictions have eased,"
said Ms. Watkins, adding that Coca-Cola Amatil is well-placed to
capitalize on the all-important Christmas trading period in the
Write to Mike Cherney at firstname.lastname@example.org and David Winning
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
October 25, 2020 18:21 ET (22:21 GMT)
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