Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) has agreed in principle to divest one of its top equity stakes as part of a multibillion-dollar deal between two of its peers. Coca-Cola European Partners (NYSE:CCEP), a bottler based on that continent, has made a non-binding offer to buy out Australian bottler Coca-Cola Amatil in a transaction valued at 9.28 billion Australian dollars ($6.6 billion).
Coca-Cola is a major shareholder in the latter company, holding a nearly 31% stake, and will be a major part of the transaction. For handing over its shares to European Partners, the beverage giant will receive roughly $1.6 billion in cash and stock.
European Partners was formed in 2016 by three European companies that specialized in the bottling of Coca-Cola Products. In terms of net revenue, it claims it is the largest independent Coca-Cola bottler on the Earth. As with Amatil but to a lesser degree, Coca-Cola has a stake in European Partners (of just over 19%).
In a company presentation on its offer, European Partners said that tying up with Amatil "brings together two of the world's best Coca-Cola bottlers, providing access to complementary, developed markets with attractive long term macro growth fundamentals." In addition to its native Australia, Amatil also serves crucial regional markets such as Indonesia.
Coca-Cola has not yet officially commented on European Partners' offer.
On a per-share basis, the American company will be paid less than Amatil, as it is selling only a minority stake.
The Amatil deal is subject to approval from that company's shareholders, and approval from the relevant regulators.