ATLANTA — The Coca-Cola Co. has entered into an agreement to acquire Costa Ltd., a London-based coffee chain that does business throughout Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa from Whitbread P.L.C. The transaction is valued at $5.1 billion.
Costa Ltd. operates approximately 4,000 retail outlets, has a coffee vending format and operates a coffee roastery.
“Costa gives Coca-Cola new capabilities and expertise in coffee, and our system can create opportunities to grow the Costa brand worldwide,” said James Quincey, president and chief executive officer of The Coca-Cola Co. “Hot beverages is one of the few segments of the total beverage landscape where Coca-Cola does not have a global brand. Costa gives us access to this market with a strong coffee platform.”
Coca-Cola owns the Georgia coffee brand, which is sold in Japan, and it offers other coffee products in other countries. The company said the acquisition of Costa will give it a scalable coffee platform and expertise in the coffee supply chain.
“Costa is a fantastic business with committed and passionate associates, a great track record and enormous global potential,” said Dominic Paul, managing director of Costa. “Being part of the Coca-Cola system will enable us to grow the business farther and faster.”
To complete the transaction, Whitbread P.L.C. must seek shareholder approval and antitrust authorities in the European Union and China must approve the deal. It is expected to close in the first half of 2019, according to The Coca-Cola Co.