Aboitiz Announces $1.8 Billion Acquisition of Coke Philippines

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MANILA, Philippines — The Aboitiz Group, the Cebu-based conglomerate currently led by Sabin Aboitiz, has partnered with Coca-Cola Europacific Partners PLC (CCEP) to acquire Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines Inc. (CCBPI).

The proposed acquisition continues the Aboitiz Group’s buying binge, which in recent years has been adding companies and entities to its portfolio including Gold Coin, Citigroup’s consumer banking business in the Philippines and a controlling stake in the company behind the Mactan-Cebu International Airport.

Aboitiz Equity Ventures (AEV) announced yesterday that it partnered with CCEP and signed a non-binding Letter of Intent with The Coca-Cola Co. to acquire TCCC’s 100 percent ownership in CCBPI for $1.8 billion on a debt-free cash-free basis, consistent with TCCC’s stated intent to divest its bottling operations.

“AEV has signed a non-binding Term Sheet and is in advanced discussions with CCEP regarding a potential joint transaction, which may lead to the acquisition of CCBPI from TCCC, based on a 60:40 ownership structure between CCEP and AEV,” AEV said in its announcement.

If completed, the proposed acquisition would build on AEV’s portfolio diversification strategy to enter the branded consumer goods space and on CCEP’s successful expansion into the Asia-Pacific region via its acquisition of Coca-Cola Amatil in 2021.

AEV would be well positioned to support CCBPI’s growth ambition, given the synergies that can be generated from AEV’s other businesses, said the company.

AEV’s proposed acquisition of CCBPI with CCEP offers a great opportunity to co-acquire an established, well-run business with attractive profitability and growth prospects, AEV also said.

However, the proposed acquisition is still subject to a number of conditions, including satisfactory completion of confirmatory due diligence which is well underway, receipt of AEV and CCEP’s board approvals and the parties signing the definitive agreements.

CCEP said in a separate filing that it would be the majority owner (60 percent) and it is expected to consolidate CCBPI as of acquisition date and establish a non-controlling interest representing AEV’s minority interest (40 percent).

The business would be governed by a board of five members, three appointed by CCEP and two by AEV. CCEP would also appoint the CEO, CCEP said.

Barring any problems and subject to the receipt of certain governmental and regulatory approvals, including clearance from the Philippine Competition Commission, the transaction could close this year.

CCEP bottles and sells Coca-Cola products in Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand, while AEV has major investments in power, banking and financial services, food, infrastructure, land and data science and artificial intelligence.

AEV is on its so-called great transformation journey to become the Philippines’ first “techglomerate.”

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