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Coca-Cola Hellenic (CCH) gets nod to buy Nigeria Bottling Company (NBC)




Tue, Jul 26, 2011 at 2:25 PM
Greek Coke bottler Coca-Cola Hellenic (CCH) has won shareholder approval to buy out the Nigerian Bottling Company and turn it into a wholly-owned subsidiary in a deal worth $136 million, its local unit said on Monday.
CCH, the world's second-largest bottler of Coca-Cola ,which already holds 66.4 percent of the Nigerian company (NBC), said it will de-list the local unit from the stock exchange on September 7, according to its scheme document.
CCH bottles and distributes Coke, Sprite and Fanta in 27 countries in Europe and in Nigeria, which accounted for 16.6 percent of its total sales volume last year. Shareholders in NBC, which holds the Coca-Cola franchise in Africa's most populous nation, will receive 47 naira ($0.31) per share under the deal.
Shares in NBC closed at 43 naira after the announcement, representing an 11 percent premium. Industry sources say CCH plans to invest about $300 million in the local business to expand operations over the next two years to fend off competition.
CCH in December said the proposed transaction will result in cost savings and allow the Nigerian company to fully leverage the financial strength and resource of its parent. Profit margins at NBC have been eroded in recent years due to competition from Nigerian Pepsi franchise Seven-Up and other local brands. Its EBITDA margins fell to around 9 percent in 2008-09 from a peak of 13 percent in 2007.

Source: Cordros Capital

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