PHILIPPINES – Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP) has announced its intention to acquire Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines Inc. (CCBPI) for US$1.8 billion, a landmark deal that could reshape the beverage industry landscape in the Philippines.

The proposed acquisition, which was revealed through a joint statement by both companies, comes as part of CCEP’s strategic expansion plans in the Asia-Pacific region.

A takeover would be expected to close around the end of 2023. It is still subject to several conditions, including due diligence and regulatory approval, and there can be no certainty it will be entered into nor completed, CCEP said.

The deal, if successful, is expected to solidify CCEP’s position as one of the leading bottlers and distributors of Coca-Cola products worldwide.

Coca-Cola Europacific Partners, a London-based company, operates as one of the largest independent Coca-Cola bottlers, serving over 300 million consumers across 29 countries in Europe, Australia, and the Pacific region.

The potential acquisition of CCBPI, a subsidiary of The Coca-Cola Company that controls the manufacturing and distribution of Coca-Cola products in the Philippines, represents a significant move to make CCEP the world’s largest Coca-Cola bottler by revenue and volumes.

“Today, we are excited to announce the proposed joint acquisition of Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines, Inc. with Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc., one of the leading conglomerates in the local market,” commented Damian Gammell, CCEP chief executive.

“This offers us a great opportunity to acquire an established, well-run business with attractive profitability and growth prospects.”

Industry experts speculate that the potential acquisition could have far-reaching implications for the soft drink market in the Philippines.

If the deal receives the green light from regulators, it is expected to unlock synergies and create new opportunities for both companies.

CCEP could leverage CCBPI’s local expertise and established distribution networks to strengthen its presence in the region, while CCBPI could benefit from CCEP’s extensive global resources and technological advancements to accelerate growth and innovation within the Philippine market.

All in all, the deal is anticipated to foster healthy competition within the Philippine beverage industry, with the combined entity poised to introduce a diverse portfolio of carbonated and non-carbonated beverages, catering to the evolving preferences of consumers.

(CEP that earlier expected to return to the top-end of its net debt to an adjusted core profit range of 2.5-3 times by the end of 2023, is expecting to achieve it in 2024 instead.

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