Coca-Cola Europe eyes $9.3b deal for Coca-Cola Amatil

ASX-listed drinks giant Coca-Cola Amatil would be sold to the European arm of Coca-Cola under a shock $9.3 billion deal proposed by the European business that would see the entire Amatil business sold.

Under the proposed deal, unveiled in detail by Coca-Cola Amatil this morning, Amatil shareholders would receive $12.75 cash per share, which equates to a 23 per cent premium to the one week volume weighted average price of its shares.

The European arm of Coca-Cola has lobbed a $10.87 billlion play for Coca-Cola Amatil.

The European arm of Coca-Cola has lobbed a $10.87 billlion play for Coca-Cola Amatil.Credit:Louie Douvis

Coca-Cola Amatil shares last traded on Thursday last week at $10.75, before the company requested a trading halt in its shares early on Friday morning, pending an announcement about a "material" transaction. Shares in the company soared 15 per cent at the open on Monday morning. At 10.04am AEDT, shares are fetching $12.34.

No details were made available on the day, but instead speculation centred on the possibility that the announcement was tied to Amatil's potential interest in buying a number of drink labels from Japanese brewer Asahi.

The implied equity value of the proposed $12.75 per share cash offer is $9.28 billion. The enterprise value of the offer from Coca-Cola European Partners for Amatil, including debt is $10.87 billion.

The deal to buy the Amatil shares would be via a scheme of arrangement. Coca-Cola Amatil's independent directors intend to unanimously recommend the proposed scheme of arrangement, subject to a range of conditions.

To acquire Amatil in full, the European arm would also have to acquire the stake in Amatil held by the international drinks giant The Coca-Cola Company (TCCC), based in Atlanta.

Documents released this morning suggest that The Coca-Cola Company supports the deal. Amatil released a letter indicating that on October 25 the US parent and the European arm of Coca-Cola entered into a "co-operation letter" in respect of the proposed deal.

The Coca-Cola Company currently owns about 30.8 per cent of Amatil’s shares, and as a result of the co-operation letter the US drinks giant and the European arm have become associates in respect of Coca-Cola Amatil. This means that the European arm now has 30.8 per cent voting power in relation to Amatil’s shares.

More to come

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