Coca-Cola European Partners is reportedly in negotiations to buy Coca-Cola Amatil, with an announcement expected as early as Monday.
Talks between the European and Australian bottlers are advanced and have continued throughout the weekend according to the Australian Financial Review. Amatil’s shares were placed in a trading halt on October 23 pending an announcement on a “potential material transaction.”
Seeking Alpha notes the $8 billion-plus deal would be the largest involving an Australian company in 2020.
Coca-Cola European Partners is the world’s largest Coca-Cola bottler by revenue, with 48 production sites in locations including Germany, Spain, Great Britain. Coca-Cola Amatil has 32 production facilities in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.
The deal would potentially need approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board.
Impact on Asahi deal
Analysts had been expecting Amatil to announce on Monday that it was acquiring Asahi’s cider brands – Strongbow, Bonamy’s and Little Green – and the Australian rights to beer brands Stella Artois and Beck’s.
Asahi was required to sell the brands to satisfy the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission after buying Carlton & United Breweries from AB InBev in a $16billion deal.
Investment bank Rothschild has been running an auction for the brands it was required to offload. Final offers were received several week ago, with Amatil and Heineken reported to be the front runners.
However, The Australian has speculated that Coca-Cola European Partners would “be against any deal involving Coca-Cola Amatil acquiring a beer business”, given that it tends to steer clear of the alcoholic beverages market.