Coca-Cola Hellenic acquires Russian fruit juice company Multon

by Staff
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ATHENS, GREECE — Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company S.A has reached an agreement to acquire Multon, a leading Russian fruit juice producer, company officials said late Wednesday. The acquisition is being made jointly with The Coca-Cola Company.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to be finalized in April.

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 Coca-Cola Hellenic'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 million to 70 million unit cases in the remaining part of 2005. The acquisition is expected to benefit Coca-Cola Hellenic's earnings per share by approximately €6 cents in 2005.

Doros Constantinou, managing director of Coca-Cola Hellenic, said the acquisition would diversify the company's product offerings in the Russian market.

"Bringing non-carbonated high growth local brands such as market leader Dobry into our portfolio represents the extension of (our) 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," he said.

Coca-Cola Hellenic has operations in 26 countries serving a population of more than 500 million people.

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 liters representing approximately a 25% market share.

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