Coca-Cola Co to move in on Hansen?

Coca-Cola Co to move in on Hansen?

Stifel Nicolaus analyst Mark Astrachan has said that The Coca-Cola Co may seek to acquire Monster Energy drink maker Hansen Natural, following the Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) deal.

Coca-Cola's deal to acquire the North American operations of its largest bottler, CCE, has also landed the soft drinks giant sole control of CCE's distribution contract for Monster in select US states and Canada.

"Coke's proposed acquisition of CCE North America makes an eventual acquisition of Hansen by Coke more likely given the substantial distribution and cost savings opportunity, in our view," Astrachan said in a note today (19 March).

He added that Stifel has "no knowledge of any M&A negotiations or discussions between Hansen and any party".

There is increasing speculation about what Coca-Cola's next step, following its expected completion of the CCE deal towards the end of 2010.

"We estimate a $60 per share all-cash deal would be accretive to Coke's operating profit by $90.7m in a least favorable scenario," said Astrachan.

"We estimate an acquisition by Coke would increase Hansen's 2011 EBITDA by 62%, or US$256m, above our estimate of $410m."