Coca-Cola acquires controlling stake in j.v. with Kerry Group

by Staff
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HONG KONG — The Coca-Cola Co. has acquired a controlling stake in Kerry Beverages Ltd., its bottling joint venture with the Kerry Group, a conglomerate based in Hong Kong.

K.B.L. was formed by Coca-Cola and the Kerry Group in 1993, and has majority ownership in 11 joint ventures that manufacture and distribute products of The Coca-Cola Co. across nine provinces in China. K.B.L. also has a minority interest in the joint venture bottler for Beijing.

After the deal, Coca-Cola will hold 89.5% of K.B.L., and will have agreed to purchase the remaining 10.5% interest by the end of 2008 at the same price per share as the initial purchase plus interest. Coca-Cola will have all voting and economic rights over the remaining shares. The other terms of the transaction remain confidential.

The Bottling Investments Group, which manages Coca-Cola’s bottling operations, will lead the management of K.B.L. The existing management team of K.B.L. will continue to play a critical role to ensure a smooth operation of the bottling operations.

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