Aboitiz, partner finalize P100-B Coca-Cola Philippines takeover

MANILA, Philippines  The Coca Cola brand officially joins the Aboitiz Group investment portfolio after the Philippine conglomerate and its European partner completed the P100-billion buyout of the beverage giant on Friday.

Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc. (AEV), one of the country’s biggest companies, acquired 40 percent of Coca Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines Inc. while its partner, Coca-Cola Europacific Partners Plc. (CCEP), bought 60 percent.

“AEV and CCEP completed the transaction following the completion of all the conditions precedent,” Aboitiz said in a stock exchange filing.

Coca-Cola has been available in the country since the early 20th century and began local production in 1927. Its portfolio includes popular carbonated beverage brands like Coca-Cola, Royal, and Sprite.

READ: Aboitiz buys 40% of Coca-Cola PH

Coca Cola Philippines, which has a long history of changing ownership, was last controlled by US-based The Coca-Cola Co. It has a wide supply chain footprint consisting of 73 production lines and 19 plants.

Profitability, growth prospects

In its disclosure on Friday, Aboitiz Equity said the deal will allow them to benefit from “attractive profitability and growth prospects”.

Coca Cola Philippines’ latest financial statements showed revenue of almost P95 billion and a net income of P2.2 billion in 2022.

The deal was completed after the buyers secured various approvals, including the go-signal from the Philippine Competition Commission. The last requirement called for the creation of CCEP Aboitiz Beverages Philippines Inc., the venture that acquired 100 percent of Coca Cola Philippines from The Coca Cola Co.

READ: Aboitiz gets PCC nod for P40-B Coke Philippines investment

The Aboitiz Group -which owns Aboitiz Power, Union Bank of the Philippines, and Pilmico Foods- has been diversifying deeper into infrastructure and consumer segments.

Net income during the first nine months of 2023 suffered a nearly 16-percent drop mainly due to the absence of substantial non-recurring gains. Aboitiz Equity reported a net income of P18 billion, down from P21.4 billion in the same period in 2022.

The power segment significantly contributed 70 percent of its net income. Aboitiz Power Corp. reported a 37-percent increase in its net income to P26.7 billion. UnionBank saw its net income decrease by 19 percent to P8.1 billion as it integrated the Citi’s consumer business in its portfolio.