Coca-Cola Europacific Partners has moved a step nearer to buying fellow bottler Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines (CCBPI) from The Coca-Cola Company.

In a deal valuing CCBPI at $1.8bn, UK-headquartered Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP) will buy 60% of the business, with Philippines conglomerate Aboitiz Equity Ventures (AEV) holding the rest.

The transaction remains subject to regulatory approvals, including clearance from the Philippine Competition Commission. It is expected to close “early next year”, CCEP said.

The deal follows a letter of intent issued by the two buyers in August to acquire CCBPI.

CCEP said today CCBPI “offers a great opportunity to co-own an established, well-run business with attractive profitability and growth prospects”.

It added: “The transaction is a further step for CCEP to create a more diverse footprint within its existing API business segment.”

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CCEP acquired full ownership of its Indonesia business from The Coca-Cola Co. earlier this year. A deal two years earlier for fellow bottler Coca-Cola Amatil gave CCEP assets in markets including Australia and New Zealand. CCEP houses the Indonesian and former Coca-Cola Amatil assets in a division called API.

AEV, which has investments in industries including power, food and artificial intelligence, said the deal built on its “portfolio diversification strategy to enter the branded consumer goods space”.

In August, CCEP said CCBPI sold around 650m unit cases in its 2022 fiscal year, generating revenues of approximately $1.7bn. It gave no comparative figures for a year earlier. The business, based in Makati in metro Manila, the capital of the Philippines, has 19 factories.

CCBPI accounts for 43% of the non-alcoholic RTD market in the Philippines and 69% of the sparkling segment, CCEP added, citing Nielsen data.

Last week in Europe, German authorities launched an investigation into CCEP for alleged breaches of competition rules.

The Bundeskartellamt initiated “abuse proceedings” that will focus on CCEP’s rebate structure for German food retailers.