AUSTRALIA – Coca-Cola Amatil, one of the world’s five major Coca-Cola bottlers, has announced that its independent shareholders voted in favour of Coca-Cola European Partners acquiring the Australian firm for A$9.93 billion ($7.68 billion).

Approval of the takeover is a major step forward in the takeover deal that was first announced in 2020 with an initial offer deal of US$6. 18 billion tabled by CCEP for a 69.2% stake in Australian counterpart.

CCEP later sweetened its takeover offer in February to US$7.68 billion or A$13.5 per share from A$12.75 after reports that Amatil’s major shareholders viewed the earlier offer as too low.

The deal, which would be Australia’s biggest this year, will combine two companies that bottle and distribute Coca-Cola drinks, and gives CCEP a platform to consolidate in Asia where Amatil has operations in six countries namely Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Fiji and Samoa.

The company’s preliminary full-year results in January forecast 2020 earnings before interest and taxes of A$550.7 million, 10% ahead of expectations, while also slashing debt, on the back of a strong Christmas in Australia and New Zealand.

New Zealand’s Overseas Investment Office gave its approval for the deal on Wednesday, 14th April but the deal still requires an Australian court’s approval, which is scheduled for a hearing next week.

US based beverage company Coca-Cola owns 31% of Amatil and 19% of CCEP, which is now by far the largest by revenue, serving 13 countries in Western Europe.

CCEP said it would buy out 10.8% of Coca-Cola’s stake in Amatil in cash, but has not yet made any decision on acquiring the rest.

Coca-Cola launches Powerade Sports Freezer Bars

Meanwhile in the US, the Coca-Cola Company and freezer bar manufacturer Jel Sert have partnered to launch Powerade Sports Freezer Bars.

Available in the brand’s most popular flavours, including Mountain Berry Blast and Fruit Punch, the new Powerade offering is said to be formulated with B vitamins. The bars also feature Powerade’s electrolyte solution ION4, which helps replenish electrolytes lost in sweat.

“We are very excited to bring Powerade to consumers in a new and refreshing way in the form of freezer bars,” said John Larson, senior manager, food licensing, The Coca-Cola Company. “We know we’ll have great success with our partners at Jel Sert as we deliver this innovation to sports drink consumers.”

Taking sustainability into the consideration, the Powerade Sports Freezer Bars come in packaging that can be recycled through a partnership with TerraCycle.

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