Coca-Cola to refile documents with Federal Trade Commission on proposed $3.4B bottler purchase

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Coca-Cola to refile bottler deal forms with FTC

ATLANTA — Coca-Cola Co. plans to refile forms with the Federal Trade Commission once again in order to give the agency more time to review its proposed $3.4 billion acquisition of the North American operations of its largest bottler.

Coca-Cola originally filed its required notifications with the FTC and Canadian authorities on June 30 but withdrew its report on July 30 and refiled it Aug. 2.

The company said in a news release Tuesday that after discussion with the agencies, it will again refile the documents on Thursday. After the notification and report forms are filed, the FTC has 30 days to determine if they need more information or if they will close the investigation.

Coca-Cola said it will continue working cooperatively with regulator agencies and continues to expect the deal to close in the fourth quarter.

The company, based in Atlanta, announced in February that it would buy the North American operations of Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc., its biggest bottler, for $3.4 billion. It would also assume $8.88 billion in debt. In exchange, the bottler will buy certain foreign bottling operations from Coca-Cola, and its shareholders will get shares for a new company and $10 a share.

The deal followed rival PepsiCo Inc.’s deal to buy two of its largest bottlers, Pepsi Bottling Group and PepsiAmericas, to control 80 percent of domestic distribution for $7.8 billion.

Coca-Cola shares rose 6 cents to close at $55.66 on Tuesday, while shares of Coca-Cola Enterprises fell 43 cents to close at $28.21.

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