EU Anti-Trust Commission approves merger of Coca-Cola European Partners

The European Anti-Trust Commission has approved the merger of two European bottlers of Coca-Cola products with Coca-Cola Enterprises to form what would be known as Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP), the largest independent bottler of Coca-Cola products in the world.

Coca-Cola Enterprises, the bottling group will merge with Coca-Cola Iberian Partners and Coca-Cola Erfrischungsgetranke, the German bottling arm of The Coca-Cola Company to form this new company.

The bulked-up company will generate $12.6bn in revenue and $2.1bn in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA). The new company will be owned by Coca-Cola Enterprises, 48 percent, Coca-Cola Iberian Partners, 34 percent, and The Coca-Cola Company, 18 percent. Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) will serve more than 300 million consumers in 13 Western European countries – Andorra, Belgium, Iceland, Luxembourg, Monaco, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, The Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Great Britain and France.

Coca-Cola is a global business that operates on a local scale. The system consists of The Coca-Cola Company at the center with more than 250 bottling partners around the globe.

The new company will be headquartered in London but would be listed on the Amsterdam Euronext, the New York Stock Exchange and the Madrid Stock Exchange.

The European commission said that a preliminary investigation opened on Oct. 2 did not show any possible competition issues.

“The proposed acquisition raises no competition concerns, as the activities of the bottlers do not overlap geographically and customers currently using the Coca-Cola bottlers would continue to have sufficient alternative choices,” the EU executive said.

The merge is part of a push by The Coca-Cola Company to consolidate and cut costs amid slowing sales.

The Coca-Cola Company and the Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) will start with a 10 year bottling agreement, with the possibility of extension for another 10.

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