AUSTRALIA: Lion Nathan deal makes Cadbury Schweppes exclusive bottler for Oz Pepsi
Cadbury Schweppes Plc has today announced it is to acquire Pepsi Cola Bottlers Australia from Australian brewer Lion Nathan, for its subsidiary Schweppes Cottee's.The Australian Foreign Investment Review Board has approved the acquisition, for an undisclosed amount, and Lion Nathan has said it will not be making any write downs on the book value.The deal, expected to be completed by the beginning of October, means that Cadbury Schweppes will become the exclusive bottler for Pepsi Cola brands in Australia, including Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Pepsi Max, 7 UP and Mountain Dew. Its share in the volume of carbonated soft drinks sold will grow from 15% to 25%, analysts believe.In the last 12 months Lion Nathan, which has an 83.5% stake in PCBA, has sold all its non-core assets, including Pepsi Cola Bottlers New Zealand and New Zealand's Canterbury Malting Co. Analysts say the sale of Pepsi Cola Bottlers could strengthen Montana's bid for New Zealand wine company Corbans, as Lion Nathan holds a 25% stake in Montana.CEO at Cadbury Schweppes, John Sunderland said: "The significantly enhanced brands portfolio will enable Schweppes Cottee's to compete more effectively in the Australian soft drinks market, and become a more efficient and profitable business.Retail sales of carbonated soft drinks in Australia are valued at around AU$4.5 billion and the transaction is expected to increase Schweppes Cottee's volume of carbonated soft drinks by over 60%.The value of Pepsi Cola Bottlers Australia's net assets was AU$102m as at the last balance sheet dated 31 August 1999, and the book value of fixed assets is AU$60m plus working capital.
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