Swire Pacific expands scale of its Coca-Cola beverage operations in China, investing 5.9b yuan in two acquisitions
Hong Kong conglomerate Swire Pacific is to acquire Coca-Cola bottling assets on the mainland for 5.87 billion yuan as part of its realignment to enhance its non-alocholic ready-to-drink beverages business.
Through its wholly owned subsidiary Swire Beverages Holdings Limited (SBHL), it will purchase the China manufacturing and distribution assets of non-alcoholic ready-to-drink beverages from China Food, a subsidiary of state-owned food firm COFCO Corp, for 4.65 billion yuan.
Meanwhile, SBHL has also agreed to acquire 12.5 per cent it does not own in non-alocholic ready-to-drink joint venture Swire Beverages from Coca-Cola for 1.22 billion yuan, according to a filing with the Hong Kong stock exchange on Friday.
“Swire Beverages has been a strategic partner with Coca-Cola for over 50 years. Today we are one of the largest Coca-Cola bottlers in the world, with significant franchise territories in the mainland, the USA, Hong Kong and Taiwan. This realignment is testament to our commitment to our long-term strategic relationship with The Coca-Cola Company. We look forward to working with Coca-Cola to continue to strengthen the bottling system in the mainland and in doing so to create long-term value for our shareholders,” said Swire Pacific chairman John Slosar.
The net amount expected to be payable by SBHL in respect of the realignment and the acquisition of 12.5 per cent of SBL is 5.87 billion yuan , subject to completion adjustments.
If the realignment proceeds, it will result in SBHL having controlling interests in companies operating in territories in which 49 per cent of the mainland China population live, and in which 51 per cent of Coca-Cola beverages were consumed in mainland China in 2015.
The corresponding percentages before the realignment are 31 per cent and 34 per cent respectively.