There are major doubts that Coca-Cola Amatil will sell back its Philippines bottling business to one of its major shareholders, brewing giant San Miguel.

Apparently San Miguel has made an informal proposal to buy back Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines for between $1 billion and $2 billion.

But according to analysts the market is likely to react badly to any sale, especially as the value suggested is a far cry from the price CCA paid when it bought the business from San Miguel and Coca-Cola Co, three years ago.

The proposal by San Miguel follows a 10% slump in consumption of Coca-Cola in the Philippines in 1999, a slump which CCA says is due to a general downturn in consumer confidence.

A CCA spokesman said: "no proposal has been put to us." He continued by saying that CCA is forecasting an eventual return to sales growth in the Philippines, which had been 33% two years ago.

San Miguel received 220 million CCA shares for its 70% stake in the company and the market was a major one for CCA, making up about 40% of its total sales.