Coca-Cola Femsa SAB (KOFL), the largest publicly traded Coke bottler by volume, agreed to buy a 51 percent stake in Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines Inc. for $689 million in its first acquisition outside of Latin America.
The agreement includes an option for Coca-Cola Femsa to buy the rest of the Philippines bottler within seven years of the deal closing, the Mexico City-based company said in a statement. It will also have the option to sell its ownership to Coca-Cola Co. (KO:US) any time during year six, it said.
The deal gives Coca-Cola Femsa access to a nation of about 95 million people with a Coke-products consumption per capita that was 40 percent above the worldwide average last year. The Philippines operation will sell about 530 million cases of beverages this year, about 17 percent of Coca Cola Femsa’s volume, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. estimates.
The Mexican bottler “is buying its way into what could potentially become a whole new Southeast Asian opportunity” in the long term, Antonio Gonzalez, an analyst with Credit Suisse Group AG, wrote in a report. “There are not that many bottlers in a position to have such serious global aspirations.”
Coca-Cola Femsa rose 1.2 percent to 187.93 pesos at the Mexico City close. Fomento Economico Mexicano SAB, which controls the bottler, rose 1.1 percent to 126.01 pesos. Coca- Cola, based in Atlanta, rose 0.2 percent $37.66 in New York.
The deal is expected to close early next year, according to the statement.
Coca-Cola, the world’s biggest soft-drink maker, has owned all of the Philippines unit since buying the 65 percent stake owned by San Miguel Corp. (SMC) in 2007 for $590 million.
“This announcement reflects our long-standing belief in the global franchise system,” Coca-Cola Chief Executive Officer Muhtar Kent said in the statement.
The purchase price represents an enterprise value of $1.35 billion for the Philippines bottler, at a multiple of about 13.5 times expected 2012 earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, or Ebitda, according to the statement.
Coca-Cola Femsa spent more than 24 billion pesos ($1.88 billion) since the start of 2011 to acquire soft drink makers and add bottling rights. It bought the beverage unit of Grupo Fomento Queretano for 6.6 billion pesos and the bottling operations of Grupo Cimsa for 11 billion pesos. The company also paid 6.55 billion pesos for the Coke division of Grupo Tampico SA.
Those deals had multiples of between 9.6 times and 10 times Ebitda, according to Alan Alanis, an analyst at JPMorgan in New York. Coca-Cola Femsa paid about $2.50 per unit case of volume in the Philippines deal, compared with about $4.80 in its Mexican deals, Gonzalez said.
Coca-Cola Femsa is 49 percent owned by Fomento Economico Mexicano and Coca-Cola has a 29 percent stake, according to its website. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Cascade Investment LLC, which manages money for billionaire Gates, own about 19 percent of Coca-Cola Femsa’s American depositary receipts, according to data (KOF:US) compiled by Bloomberg.
In addition to its home market, Coca-Cola Femsa has rights to sell drinks such as Coke, Sprite and Fanta in parts of Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil and Argentina, according to its website.
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