Australia: Coca-Cola European Partners bid for its Australian counterpart

Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA), one of the five major Coca-Cola bottlers in the world informed today that it has received a non-binding takeover proposal from its European counterpart, Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP), the world's largest Coca-Cola bottler by revenue.

The deal would see the independent shareholders of CCA sell to CCEP, with a cash offer made to all of them of AUD 12.75 (USD 8.96) per share, minus any final dividends for the second half of 2020. The Coca Cola Company (TCCC) based in Atlanta, Georgia which currently owns 30.8 2020-10-26, per cent of CCA would sell its shares on less favorable terms than that offered to independent shareholders.

The entire cash purchase consideration worth AUD 9.3 billion (USD 6.54bn), including for shares to be acquired from TCCC, will be satisfied by CCEP from fully committed financing and existing cash resources. It would be the biggest foreign bid for an Australian company since Asahi's successful AUD 16.0 billion (USD 11.3 bn) offer for Carlton & United Breweries (, 19.7.2019).

CCA’s group managing director Alison Watkins recommended the scheme to independent shareholders in “the absence of a superior proposal.” She told The Sydney Morning Herald that talks with CCEP started in early 2019, and a number of proposals were given during 2019, none of which Amatil's related party committee (RPC) thought were in shareholder interests. “And then they came back with a new proposal, just in September," she said.

"We've had a fairly intense period of discussion and negotiation since then, to get to a point where the independent directors felt that we had a price and level of conditionality that meant shareholders should get the opportunity to consider this offer," she said.

Amatil Chairman Ms Ilana Atlas said, “The RPC has considered the Proposal with the objective of maximizing value for the Independent Shareholders and has unanimously determined that, based on the current price and conditions of the proposal, it is now in the best interests of independent shareholders to allow CCEP to undertake confirmatory due diligence and further negotiate transaction documentation in order to determine if a binding proposal can be presented to independent shareholders.”

CCA was founded in 1904 as British Tobacco Company Limited as a printing and packaging company before moving into the Australian food and beverage industry in 1963. In 1965 purchased the Coca-Cola Bottlers Pty Ltd in Perth, Australia. In 1977, after more than fifty years trading as British Tobacco, the company became Allied Manufacturing and Trade Industries Limited—or AMATIL, for short.

Between 1986 and 1989 AMATIL acquired further Coca-Cola franchises across Australia as well as the Pacific franchises in Fiji and Wellington along with the Ecks and Deep Spring mineral water brands. After TCCC became a major shareholder the company changed its name into Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA).

In 1991, two strategic joint ventures followed in Indonesia, and the acquisition of the two major Coca-Cola bottling operations in Papua New Guinea. Over the next decade the company would further consolidate this position in Indonesia, expanding operations in Australia, Fiji and New Zealand.

In the decade that followed CCA undertook a series of acquisitions in the Australian and New Zealand food and beverage markets, securing brands like Neverfail Springwater, Peats Ridge Springs, Baker Halls, SPC Ardmona and Grinders Coffee. The company also acquired the Northern Territory Coca-Cola franchise in 2004, positioning it as the sole licensee of Coca-Cola products in Australia.

Fearless in pursuit of new opportunities, in 2006 and 2007, CCA added alcohol to its portfolio with premium beers, spirits and alcohol ready-to-drink beverages, commencing its  relationship with the company that would later become Beam Suntory.

In 2010 the company focused its attention on businesses closer to home, investing in building state of the art facilities at Northmead and Eastern Creek, cementing its place as a leader in beverage packaging and bottling.

In 2012 CCA acquired Paradise Beverages (Fiji) Limited closely followed by the establishment of the Australian Beer Company in 2013 – a partnership with the Casella family. In  2017 CCA acquired 100% of Western Australian Feral Brewing Company in an attempt to “step in the fast-growing craft beer segment” (, 14.10.2017).

Today CCA is one of the Asia-Pacific's largest bottlers and distributors of alcoholic and non-alcoholic ready-to-drink beverages, and one of the world's larger bottlers of The Coca-Cola Company range.

CCEP justified the acquisition saying it would create a “broader and more balanced footprint for CCEP whilst almost doubling CCEP’s consumer reach, with the aim of ultimately driving sustainable and faster growth through geographic diversification and scale”

CCEP is a leading consumer goods company, a strategic bottling partner to TCCC in Western Europe, and the world's largest independent Coca-Cola bottler by revenue. CCEP operates in 13 countries, serving 1 million outlets, over 300 million consumers and employing over 23,300 people.

CCEP was formed in 2016 through the merger of the bottling operations of Coca-Cola Enterprises, Coca-Cola Iberian Partners and Coca-Cola Erfrischungsgetranke. In 2019, CCEP generated revenue of €12.0 billion and underlying operating profit of €1.7 billion

 CCEP is publicly listed on stock exchanges in Amsterdam, New York, Madrid and London, with its corporate headquarters in London. As at 23 October 2020, CCEP had a market capitalisation of €15 billion (A$25 billion). The Coca Cola Company based in Atlanta, Georgia, currently owns about 20 per cent of CCEP.

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