Coca-Cola FEMSA wants to seek opportunities in Asia

Coca-Cola FEMSA wants to seek opportunities in Asia

Coca-Cola FEMSA is to pay US$688.5m for a 51% stake in Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines as it looks to expand beyond Latin America.

The deal includes an option for FEMSA to buy the remaining stake at any time during the seven years after the deal closes, the Mexican company said today (14 December). The acquisition is expected to complete next year, FEMSA said.

FEMSA board chairman José Antonio Fernández Carbajal called the announcement a “milestone in the history of our group”, while CEO Carlos Salazar Lomelin said it strengthens the company's position in the global beverage industry.

The acquisition will be FEMSA's first outside Latin America and follows an admission earlier this year it is seeking opportunities further afield. Lomelin said at the time that Latin America's growth potential is becoming limited, while Asia offers room for development.

The process to buy the Philippines bottler was started in February when FEMSA announced it had signed a 12-month exclusivity agreement to evaluate the acquisition.

The operations includes 23 production plants serving about 800,000 customers, FEMSA said. The bottler is expected to sell about 530m unit cases this year.