GREECE: CCHBC seeks buyout deals in Europe, Russia
Coca Cola Hellenic Bottling (CCHBC) is searching for buyout opportunities within the juice and water categories in central Europe and Russia.
Speaking to just-drinks today (17 December), a spokesperson for CCHBC said "we are looking for acquisitions to cover needs or gaps in our portfolio. Not just a juice company in central Europe and a water company in Russia, because one doesn't exclude the other. But in Russia, we already had a recent acquisition on juices, so it isn't a priority."
In March 2005, CCHBC teamed up with The Coca-Cola Company to acquire Multon, a leading Russian fruit juice producer. The transaction fee was in the region of EUR360m ($528.8m).
In what was described as part of CCHBC's "long-term growth strategy", the spokesperson said that the size of the buyouts had not been decided, adding: "There is nothing specific, just intent."
The spokesperson contributed to recent speculation over the rising costs of raw materials, adding: "I can't confirm [prices] specifically next year. But I can say we will take pricing in line with inflation."
Last month, the Greece-based bottler said that operating profit for the period reached EUR581.4m (US$848.3m), up 33% on the corresponding period in 2006. The rise came on the back of growing sales, which totalled EUR4.79bn compared to EUR1.64bn a year earlier. Net income rose by 26% year-on-year to EUR336.8m.
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