Athens, Greece – March 31, 2005 – Coca‑Cola Hellenic Bottling Company S.A. (Coca‑Cola HBC, CCHBC) announced today that it has reached an agreement to acquire, jointly with The Coca‑Cola Company (TCCC), Multon, a leading Russian fruit juice producer.
Multon has production facilities in Moscow and St. Petersburg and produces and distributes juice products under the brands Rich, Nico and Dobry. The acquisition which is consistent with CCHBC’s strategy of expanding in the non-carbonated segment is expected to yield significant cost and revenue synergies for its Russian operations. Multon is expected to generate 65-70 million unit cases in the remaining part of 2005. The acquisition is expected to benefit CCHBC’s EPS by approximately 6 Euro cents in 2005.
The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to be finalized in April of 2005.
Doros Constantinou, Managing Director of Coca‑Cola HBC, said, “This is a significant acquisition for CCHBC, diversifying our product offering in the fast growing Russian market. We have enjoyed a great deal of success in Russia since we acquired TCCC’s entire territory in 2001, and we continue to be very optimistic for our prospects there. We are confident that our infrastructure, scale and local expertise position us uniquely to deliver optimal results from a wider Russian brand portfolio. Bringing non-carbonated high growth local brands such as market leader Dobry into our portfolio represents the extension of CCHBC’s successful strategy into our largest emerging market, underscoring our confidence in Russia and our commitment to provide consumers across all of our 26 countries with an increasing range of beverage choices.”
Alexander Kritsky, General Manager of Multon, said, “The purchase of Multon by the world leader in the beverage industry provides assurance that Multon’s business will have strong investment and future growth, to the benefit of our employees, customers and consumers.”
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 Exchange (ATHEX: 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).
Background information on Multon
Multon is the second largest producer of juices in the Russian market. The company has a strong market share in St. Petersburg, Moscow, and the Urals. In 2004, Multon had revenue of $336 million and juice volume of approximately 500 million litres representing approximately a 25% market share.
Coca‑Cola HBC – Investor Relations
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Coca‑Cola HBC’s website is located at www.coca-colahbc.com.
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