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Coca-Cola Amatil is hoping to recoup A$700m (US$585m) from its South Korean bottling operations.

The Australia-based company closed the book on bids for the business last week. While Goldman Sachs JBWere, enlisted by CCA to assess ownership options for Coca-Cola Korea Bottling Corp., has estimated the value to be between A$400m and A$500m, South Korean media reports have suggested the operations could garner as much as A$1bn.

"The expressions of interest have been at a level sufficient for us to seriously consider the sale, we've also said we won't take a material loss on sale," CCA CEO Terry Davis told Dow Jones yesterday (17 April). "Our line in the sand currently is book value, but we'll see what the competitive process brings."

Local sources have claimed this week that three bids - from SPC, City Venture Capital and Coca-Cola Femsa - have been tabled for the unit. Separate reports, meanwhile, have claimed that Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling has distanced itself from the sale process.

Nik Jhangiani, CFO of CCHBC, was cited by Dow Jones as saying that the company's focus was "built on acquisitions but not necessarily on territorial expansion.

"We focus on operations in territories where we have an existence (in 28 countries), as well as acquisitions in water and juice operations - as has been the case over the past three years," Jhangiani told the news service.

CCA will take a decision on whether to sell the unit next month.

CCA is 32%-owned by The Coca-Cola Co., from which it bought Coca-Cola Korea Bottling in 1998.


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