OREANDA-NEWS Coca-Cola will buy its first global brand in the coffee market for $5 billion

Company will receive about 4 thousand coffee houses Costa Coffee and enterprise for roasting and distribution of coffee beans. It is the largest coffee chain in the UK.

Coca-Cola announced the purchase of the largest British coffee chain Costa Coffee from the group of companies Whitbread Plc for $ 5.1 billion. This information is stated in reports Coca-Cola and Whitbread.

Coca-Cola reported that they will receive a total of about 4 thousand Costa coffee houses and enterprises for roasting and distribution of coffee beans. The deal will provide a "strong coffee platform" for the company in more than 30 countries in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. As a result it will provide an opportunity to increase Coca-Cola presence there, said in the company.

"Hot drinks are one of the few segments of the beverage market where Coca-Cola does not have a global brand," said James Quincy, CEO of the company.

Whitbread, in turn, indicates that the decision to sell Costa Board of Directors unanimously supported. Also, according to the company, the price at which the coffee chain will be sold is 16 times higher than EBITDA (pre-tax profit) Whitbread this year. Closing of the transaction is expected in the first half of 2019, so Coca-Cola does not plan to make changes in the forecast of financial indicators for the current year.

Whitbread bought Costa in 1995 for 19 million pounds. As it is noted in the message of the British company, the network of coffee shops then consisted of 39 institutions. According to Bloomberg, it is now approximately 3,800 coffee shops in the UK Costa Coffee is the largest coffee network (more than 1 thousand points), ahead of Starbucks.

In fiscal year 2018 Costa's revenue amounted to 1.3 billion pounds (about $1.7 billion), EBITDA — 238 million pounds (more than $310 million).

Soft drink manufacturers are looking for options to expand to meet consumers ' demand for alternatives for sweet carbonated beverages. Earlier, the American PepsiCo signed an agreement on the purchase of the Israeli company SodaStream, which is engaged in the creation of devices for the production of soda at home. The total amount of the transaction will be $ 3.2 billion.