Soft drinks bottler Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Corp has said it is planning a recapitalisation to return a total EUR548m (US$804m) to shareholders.

The bottler will fund the recapitalisation, announced today (18 September), via existing cashflow and new debt facilities. It expects to return EUR1.5 per share to shareholders.

"Given the company's strong cash generation and positive view of its free cash flow over the medium-term, a capital return is the most appropriate way to return cash to shareholders in the current environment," said Coca-Cola Hellenic CEO Doros Constantinou.

"In addition, this transaction will lower the company's Weighted Average Cost of Capital (WACC) and increase the efficiency of our capital structure, whilst maintaining sufficient financial flexibility to pursue attractive growth opportunities."

An extraordinary general meeting will be held on 16 October to allow shareholders to vote on the plan.

Coca-Cola Hellenic saw profits fall 4% in the first half of 2009. The bottler is currently in a dispute with trade unions in Ireland, where it plans to cut 130 jobs as part of a restructuring drive across its markets.