Athens, Greece – 18 September 2009 – Coca‑Cola Hellenic Bottling Company (Coca‑Cola Hellenic, the Company) announces proposals for a recapitalisation, which will result in a capital return of approximately € 548 million to its shareholders, i.e. €1.50 per share.
The record date (the date at which registered shareholders will qualify for this return of capital) will be announced in due course. The recapitalisation will be financed through a combination of accumulated cash and new debt and is subject to shareholder and regulatory approval.
Coca‑Cola Hellenic's Board of Directors has endorsed the plan and believes the proposed recapitalisation is appropriate for the following reasons:
- The long-term potential of Coca‑Cola Hellenic's business
- The positive view of the Company's medium-term cash flow generation
- The improvement in the efficiency of the Company's balance sheet
- The potential to reduce the Group's WACC by improving the efficiency of the Group's capital structure
- The continuing strength of the Company's key financial ratios will leave Coca‑Cola Hellenic with strong public credit ratings also after the recapitalisation
- The operational activities and strategic goals of the Company will remain essentially unaffected
- Favourable conditions in the debt capital markets
- The capital return provides an immediate cash benefit to shareholders. The Company intends to suspend its share buy-back programme for the time being.
As outlined in a separate announcement today, an Extraordinary General Meeting to approve an increase of the par value of the Company's shares by an amount of approximately € 548 million through capitalization of reserves and subsequently a capital return of approximately € 548 million, will be held on 16 October 2009.
Doros Constantinou, Chief Executive Officer of Coca‑Cola Hellenic, commented, “Coca‑Cola Hellenic has a proven track-record of seeking ways to maximise returns for shareholders. Given the Company's strong cash generation and positive view of its free cash flow over the medium-term, a capital return is the most appropriate way to return cash to shareholders in the current environment. In addition, this transaction will lower the Company's Weighted Average Cost of Capital (WACC) and increase the efficiency of our capital structure, whilst maintaining sufficient financial flexibility to pursue attractive growth opportunities.”
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About Coca‑Cola Hellenic
Coca‑Cola Hellenic is one of the world's largest bottlers of products of The Coca‑Cola Company with sales of more than 2 billion unit cases. It has broad geographic reach with operations in 28 countries serving a population of approximately 560 million people. Coca‑Cola Hellenic offers a diverse range of ready-to-drink non-alcoholic beverages in the sparkling, juice, water, sport, energy, tea and coffee categories. Coca‑Cola Hellenic is committed to promoting sustainable development in order to create value for its business and for society. This includes providing products that meet the beverage needs of consumers, fostering an open and inclusive work environment, conducting our business in ways that protect and preserve the environment and contribute to the socio-economic development of our local communities.
Coca‑Cola Hellenic's shares are listed on the Athens Exchange (ATHEX: EEEK), with a secondary listing on the London Stock Exchange (LSE: CCB). Coca‑Cola Hellenic's American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) are listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: CCH). Coca‑Cola Hellenic is included in the Dow Jones Sustainability and FTSE4Good Indexes. For more information, please visit www.coca-colahellenic.com