September 3, 2008
The Coca-Cola Company Offers To Buy Huiyuan Juice Group
The Coca-Cola Company announced today its intention to make cash offers to purchase China Huiyuan Juice Group Limited, a Hong Kong listed company which owns the Huiyuan juice business throughout China.
The Coca-Cola business in China has been operating since 1979 and is well known for its sparkling beverage brands such as Coca-Cola, Sprite and Fanta. In the last few years, the Company has also introduced a number of still beverage brands, including Guo Li Chen (Minute Maid Pulpy) and Yuan Ye (Original Leaf Tea), with the objective of offering consumers a wide range of beverage choices. In line with this, the Company is seeking to further develop its beverage business through this acquisition."Huiyuan is a long-established and successful juice brand in China and is highly complementary to the Coca-Cola China business," said Muhtar Kent, President and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company.
"This acquisition will deliver value to our shareholders and provide a unique opportunity to strengthen our business in China, especially since the juice segment is so dynamic and fast growing in China. It is also further evidence of our deep commitment to China and to providing Chinese consumers with the beverage choices that meet their needs," Mr Kent said.
If successful with the offers, the Company will use its expertise as a global beverage company to further develop the Huiyuan brand to address the evolving needs of consumers. There are anticipated synergies that will drive operational efficiencies, particularly in the Huiyuan business' production footprint and in Coca-Cola's distribution and raw material purchasing capabilities.
The making of the offers is subject to preconditions relating to Chinese regulatory approvals.
The Coca-Cola Company intends that the Huiyuan business will continue to carry on its business, while reviewing its operations and synergies over time.
"I am very pleased that the current Chairman of the Huiyuan business, Mr Zhu, has agreed to take up the role as Honorary Chairman. Both the Huiyuan business and The Coca-Cola Company will benefit from his deep understanding of the beverage business in China, as well as his on-going experience and advice," Mr Kent said. "We are strongly committed to building on the Huiyuan business' current brand, improving the utilization of its fixed assets and enhancing opportunities for employees of the Huiyuan business."
The Coca-Cola Company is offering HK$12.20 per share, and an equivalent price for outstanding convertible bonds and options.
The Company has accepted irrevocable undertakings from three shareholders for acceptance of the offers, in aggregate representing approximately 66 percent of the Huiyuan shares.
Assuming full acceptance of the offers, the deal is valued at approximately US$2.4billion. The transaction is expected to be dilutive to the Company's earnings per share by $0.03 to $0.04 in the first full year following completion of the acquisition and accretive to earnings per share in year 3 after completion.
The Company now expects to repurchase a total of $1 billion of its stock for the full year.
About The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company is the world's largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 450 sparkling and still brands. Along with Coca-Cola, recognized as the world's most valuable brand, the Company's portfolio includes 12 other billion dollar brands, including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid and Georgia Coffee. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, juices and juice drinks and ready-to-drink teas and coffees. Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy the Company's beverages at a rate of 1.5 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that protect the environment, conserve resources and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. For more information about our Company, please visit our website at www.thecoca-colacompany.com.
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