CCE says it will study the market

CCE says it will study the market

Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) is still considering the possible acquisition of Coca-Cola Co's German bottling assets, as an option on the deal nears its deadline.

The option was part of Coca-Cola's acquisition of CCE's operations in North America in 2010, giving CCE until May this year to take over the German operations. CCE said today (8 February) that any decision will be made in the interests of its business and shareholders. 

“Any acquisition, whether a geographic expansion like Germany, a portfolio expansion, or any other acquisition, requires a thorough due diligence process that allows us to fully understand the current state, the future growth opportunities, and the strengths that we would bring to the new territory,” CCE said.

Analyst Nomura said today that a deal between CCE and Coca-Cola is unlikely before the middle of the year.

Last week, another analyst questioned whether CCE would want to acquire assets in the “tepid” German market. Melissa O'Connor, an analyst with Sanford Bernstein, told just-drinks the two companies will likely form a joint-venture, giving CCE the assets and allowing Coca-Cola to take the unit off its books.