Athens, Greece – August 19, 2003 – Coca‑Cola Hellenic Bottling Company S.A. (Coca‑Cola HBC, CCHBC), today announced that The Coca‑Cola Company has granted an extension to their bottler’s agreements covering all 26 countries in which Coca‑Cola HBC operates.
The new agreements, which will commence on January 1, 2004, will have an initial term of ten years, lasting until December of 2013 with the option to request a further ten-year extension (expiring in 2023).
In addition Coca‑Cola HBC’s two major shareholders, The Kar-Tess Group and The Coca‑Cola Company, have agreed to extend their existing shareholders’ agreement until December 2008. Among the key elements of the shareholders’ agreement is the restriction on the sale of CCHBC’s ordinary shares owned by The Kar-Tess Group and The Coca‑Cola Company such that their combined shareholdings remain above 50%.
Coca‑Cola HBC has also been informed by Kar-Tess Holding S.A. (a member of The Kar-Tess Group) of an intended restructuring. As a result of this restructuring, approximately 9.4% of Coca‑Cola HBC’s shares will be transferred from Kar-Tess Holding S.A. to at least nine persons or entities who are either current shareholders or persons or entities to be nominated by them, none of whom will own individually more than 2.5% of Coca‑Cola HBC. These shareholders will commit to a twelve-month lock-up from the date of the transaction. Post completion of this restructuring The Kar-Tess Group will hold 30.4% and The Coca‑Cola Company will hold 24.0% of Coca‑Cola HBC’s outstanding shares.
Irial Finan, Managing Director of CCHBC commented: “We are very pleased with the renewed long term commitment of our major shareholders through the extended shareholders’ agreement. In addition, the extended duration of the bottlers’ agreements confirms Coca‑Cola HBC’s strategic importance within The Coca‑Cola system. We have had a lot of success with our diverse markets and growing portfolio of products and look forward to a strong and exciting future. We believe that these actions of support and commitment from our major shareholders reflect that they share our vision”.
Coca‑Cola HBC is one of the world's largest bottlers of products of The Coca‑Cola Company and has operations in 26 countries serving a population of more than 500 million people. CCHBC shares are listed on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE:EEEK), with secondary listings on the London (LSE:CCB) and Australian (ASX:CHB) Stock Exchanges. CCHBC’s American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) are listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:CCH).
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