AUS: Lion Nathan still sweet on Coca-Cola Amatil

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Lion Nathan has refused to back down from its approach for Coca-Cola Amatil, despite The Coca-Cola Company's swift rebuttal of its initial A$7.7bn offer.

Lion Nathan, which today (18 November) reported a 3.3% slip in net profit for its full-year, said its US$4.9bn bid for Coca-Cola Amatil was "compelling" and represented a "substantial premium".

The Australian brewer, which is a subsidiary of Japan's Kirin Holdings, published a more detailed breakdown of its offer alongside its financial results. A deal would create Australia and New Zealand's largest beverage company.

Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA) yesterday rebuffed the approach, criticising "a number of material deficiencies" in the bid and warning that The Coca-Cola Company, which owns 30% of the bottler, was against the offer.

Lion Nathan said that its bid represents a 31% premium on CCA's closing share price on 14 November.

Under its current proposal, CCA shareholders would retain a 28.7% stake in the merged company, while Lion Nathan (LN) would have 23.8% and Kirin would take 47.5%. 

Playing down competition concerns, LN added that the two firms have "a highly complementary mix of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages". These businesses would be kept separate following a takeover, it said.

A tie-up would also produce annual cost savings of between A$100m and A$130m, the group predicted.

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