ATHENS, Greece--November 26, 2001--Coca‑Cola Hellenica Bottling Company S.A. has finalised the purchase from The Coca‑Cola Company of its bottling operations in the Russian Federation.
The transaction includes operations in Moscow, St Petersburg, Central Russia and the Russian Far East, as well as the acquisition of equity held by The Coca‑Cola Company in Coca‑Cola Molino Beverages Limited.
Coca‑Cola Molino Beverages Ltd., a joint venture between Coca‑Cola HBC (60%) and The Coca‑Cola Company (40%), held operations managed by Coca‑Cola HBC in Western Russia and Siberia.
The Russian transaction follows the satisfactory conclusion of detailed negotiations, due diligence and regulatory approval by the relevant authorities. With the completion of the purchase, Coca‑Cola HBC now holds the Coca‑Cola franchise for the whole of the Russian Federation. The merging of all bottling operations will provide the platform to further build on strengths already apparent in the existing businesses of Coca‑Cola HBC in Russia. Coca‑Cola HBC expects to conclude arrangements for the purchase of holdings in the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania prior to the year-end.
Upon completion, Coca‑Cola HBC will have operations in 26 countries, with more than 500 million consumers being served approximately 1.2 billion cases of alcohol free beverages annually. This reinforces its position as the second largest bottler of Coca‑Cola Company products in the world, and the largest total alcohol-free beverage group in Europe. Coca‑Cola HBC, an anchor bottler of The Coca‑Cola Company, is listed on the Athens Stock Exchange, with secondary listings in London and Sydney.
Irial Finan, Managing Director of Coca‑Cola HBC, comments: "We are delighted with this transaction. The acquisition of these Russian operations previously held by The Coca‑Cola Company will add nearly 100 million potential new consumers and 100 million unit case sales to Coca‑Cola HBC's territory."