CCEs option on Germany runs out on 25 May

CCE's option on Germany runs out on 25 May

Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) may still buy The Coca-Cola Co's German operations further down the line, plus other European bottlers, an analyst has said.

Nomura analyst Ian Shackleton said today (26 April) a decision not to pick up an option on the Germany facilities before it runs out next month does not rule out a deal “in the medium term”. In first-quarter results, released yesterday, CCE head John Brock said the company has agreed with Coca-Cola to pass on the Germany facilities "at this time". 

Shackleton said: “We had expected the option on buying Germany to be extended; however, even with the expiry of the current option, this does not rule out the deal returning. In addition, we can see potential for acquisition of other franchises in adjacent territories or of brands to expand the portfolio.”

The option, part of Coca-Cola's takeover of CCE's operations in North America in 2010, expires on 25 May.

Yesterday's results revealed a volumes slide in continental Europe, but Shackleton said “pricing appears robust in key markets”.