Update - MEXICO: Coca-Cola FEMSA reshuffle may signal M&A - analyst
Coca-Cola FEMSA has said it is committed to looking for acquisition opportunities both in Latin America and globally
Coca-Cola FEMSA's structural changes could be preparation for a potential expansion outside of Latin America for the bottler, according to a Credit Suisse analyst.
The Coca-Cola bottler has announced it is to cut its three business divisions down to two. The changes will see the firm merge its Latincentro, Mercosur and Mexico divisions into two units - Mexico & Central America, and South America.
Credit Suisse analyst, Antonio Gonzalez, believes that, while the restructuring will reap some minor benefits for the firm, ultimately, the move suggests expansion is on the cards for Coca-Cola FEMSA.
"I definitely think the main driver of this is not cost cutting," Gonzalez told just-drinks today (26 August). "We [believe that they] want to broaden the scope of operations, they think they have limited opportunities to close really transformational deals in Latin America, just because there are not that many large independent bottlers remaining."
Following the company's acquisition of Grupo Tampico in June, Coca-Cola FEMSA CEO Carlos Salazar Lomelin said that the purchase would allow the company to further leverage its geographical reach. He said that it is committed to looking for acquisition opportunities both in Latin America and globally.
Gonzalez believes, in particular, that the appointment of Rafael Suarez Olaguibel, currently head of the company's Latincentro division, to head of a special projects unit, is significant.
"Even though the company is somewhat cautious when they talk about [acquisitions], they want to have available other important operators for whenever they materialise something outside of Latin America, which of course is not something that will happen for sure, but they are definitely talking a great deal about it."
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