AEV, CCEP ink deal
The Manila Times
ABOITIZ Equity Ventures Inc. (AEV) on Monday said that it had signed an agreement, along with Coca-Cola Europacific Partners Plc (CCEP), to jointly acquire Coca-Cola Beverage Philippines Inc. (CCBPI). CCBPI, valued at $1.8 billion on a debt- and cash-free basis, will be bought from The Coca-Cola Company (TCCC) with CCEP taking a 60-percent stake and AEV the remaining 40 percent. Both firms will be setting up a holding company that will purchase CCBPI’s 2,447,956,683 shares of class A common stock with par value of P2 and 1,000 shares of class B common stock with par value P1. The final price will be “subject to cash, debt-like items and working capital adjustments at completion of the transaction,” AEV said in a disclosure. The two parties entered into a nonbinding letter of intent with TCCC in August. The move was said to be in line with AEV’s portfolio diversification strategy and CCEP’s expansion plans. In Monday’s disclosure, AEV said that CCPBI — the exclusive bottler and distributor of CocaCola products in the country — “benefits from attractive profitability and growth prospects.” “AEV is well positioned to support CCBPI’s growth ambition due to the synergies that could be generated from AEV’s other business interests in the country,” the Aboitiz-led company added. AEV said the acquisition was expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2024 upon the completion of closing conditions, including a clearance from the Philippine Competition Commission. “[A] shareholders’ agreement between CCEP and AEV with comprehensive governance terms will take effect at closing,” it also said. England-based CCEP is an affiliate of TCCC. AEV said the deal would build on its partner’s recent expansion into Australia, the Pacific and Indonesia. AEV saw its net income decline by 16 percent to P18 billion in the first nine-months of 2023, from P21.4 billion a year earlier, due to the absence of nonrecurring gains that boosted its 2022 bottom line. In the third quarter alone, net income was said to have dropped by 21 percent year-onyear to P7.6 billion. The company’s share price rose by 5 centavos, or 0.11 percent, to P47.25 on Monday amid a 0.46-percent drop for the benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index.