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Coca-Cola to buy coffee chain Costa in deal worth over €4 billion

The soft drink giant said this gave it a way into the hot beverage market.

pjimage (63) Source: Shutterstock

THE COSTA COFFEE chain is set to be sold to Coca-Cola in a deal worth £3.9 billion (€4.35 billion), its parent company Whitbread has said.

Coca-Cola, which owns hundreds of brands in countries across the world, said that the takeover would give the company a way into the hot beverage market which it didn’t have before.

Its CEO James Quincey said: “Costa gives Coca-Cola new capabilities and expertise in coffee, and our system can create opportunities to grow the Costa brand worldwide.

Hot beverages is one of the few remaining segments of the total beverage landscape where Coca-Cola does not have a global brand. Costa gives us access to this market through a strong coffee platform.

Whitbread, which also the Premier Inn chain of hotels, said that investors are set for a windfall with “a significant majority of net cash proceeds… to be returned to shareholders”.

The deal was unanimously ratified by shareholders. 

Whitbread has owned the Costa chain since the mid-1990s, when it had less than 40 outlets. Now, it has over 2,000 shops in the UK alone and over 1,200 in 31 other countries. 

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Sean Murray

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