MEXICO.- Mexico's Coca-Cola FEMSA said it has finalized the acquisition of a 51 percent stake in Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines from The Coca-Cola Company for $688.5 million.
The closing of the all-cash transaction became effective on Friday, the Monterrey, Mexico-based company - the world's biggest franchise bottler of Coca-Cola products - said in a press release.
As part of the deal, the company will have the option of acquiring the remaining 49 percent stake in the Philippine firm during the seven years following the closing, as well as a put option to sell its interest to The Coca-Cola Company at any time during the sixth year.
"Our company has started 2013 on the right foot. We recently announced a merger agreement with Grupo Yoli and its shareholders, one of the oldest family-owned bottlers in the Coca-Cola system in Mexico," Coca-Cola FEMSA CEO Carlos Salazar Lomelin said.
He added that this latest acquisition marks the company's fifth transaction in the past 18 months in the Coca-Cola bottling space, representing "an aggregate investment of more than $3.5 billion."
Salazar said he anticipates a successful relationship with the Philippine government and is certain that Coca-Cola FEMSA's operators "have the skills and operational capabilities to take on the challenges and capture the opportunities that we have identified in our Philippine operation."
Coca-Cola FEMSA has 60 bottling facilities, serves nearly 315 million consumers through more than 2.5 million retailers and employs more than 100,000 people worldwide, the press release said.