New Coca-Cola Enterprises shares open trading after $3.4B sale of its N. American operations

Monday, October 4, 2010

New Coca-Cola Enterprises shares start trading

NEW YORK — New shares of Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. opened trading on Monday, reflecting a $10-per-share dividend from the completion Sunday of the $3.4 billion sale of its North American operations to Coca-Cola Co.

THE SPARK: Coca-Cola, the world’s biggest soft drink maker, closed on the deal on Sunday. It also includes about $8.8 billion in assumed debt, bringing the transaction’s total value to almost $12.3 billion.

Coca-Cola Enterprises bought certain Coca-Cola bottling operations as part of the deal, and its shareholders get stock in a new company and $10 per share. The new CCE is a Coke bottler in Belgium, France, Great Britain, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.

Coca-Cola and Coca-Cola Enterprises are both based in Atlanta.

THE BIG PICTURE: The transaction is part of a soft drink industry trend to gain more control over distribution. Soft drink makers make concentrate and then sell it to bottlers, who make and distribute the products. By owning bottlers, the companies can better control where their products go and how they are displayed. They are also able to get products to market more quickly.

SHARE ACTION: Coca-Cola Enterprises’ stock was trading at $21.90 by midday Monday, down $9.90 from the old shares’ $31.80 close, a reflection of the special dividend. The old shares traded in a 52-week range of $18.75 to $31.80.

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