FEMSA is seeking opportunities further afield

FEMSA is seeking opportunities further afield

Coca-Cola FEMSA has completed the takeover of a majority stake in Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines, the company's first acquisition outside Latin America.

FEMSA is paying US$688.5m for a 51% share of the Philippine bottler, FEMSA said yesterday (24 January). The deal, announced in December and due to complete today, includes an option for FEMSA to buy the remaining stake at any time during the seven years after the deal closes, it said.

FEMSA also has a put option to sell its ownership to the Coca-Cola Co any time during year six, the company said.

FEMSA CEO Carlos Salazar Lomelin said the transaction brought the company's total investment in the past 18 months to $3.5bn. Last week, FEMSA said it was to buy Mexican bottler Grupo Yoli in a deal valued at $700m. 

The Philippines acquisition is FEMSA's first outside Latin America and follows an admission earlier this year it is seeking opportunities further afield. Lomelin said at the time that Latin America's growth potential is becoming limited, while Asia offers room for development.

The operations includes 23 production plants serving about 800,000 customers, FEMSA said. The bottler is expected to sell about 530m unit cases this year. 

Yesterday, reports in the Philippines said FEMSA is planning to build at least one plant in the country to make commercial chillers for Coca-Cola plants. The chillers will be exported across South-East Asia, the reports said, citing a Mexican trade official at a forum in the Philippines.

A FEMSA spokesperson told just-drinks the company is "just studying the market".