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Coca-Cola company's European bottler seeks to buy out Australian peer: report
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SYDNEY/BENGALURU - The Coca-Cola Co's KO.N European bottler has made a A$9.28 billion ($6.6 billion) buyout approach for Australian peer Coca-Cola Amatil Ltd CCL.AX, a cut-price proposal that the target firm has backed due to uncertainty related to the coronavirus.
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The deal would be the biggest takeover involving Australia this year but prices the target company below its market valuation in February, before fears of a COVID-19 pandemic began to rock global markets and plunged the world into recession.
The support from the Australians indicates expectations of an economic recovery that could take years, a bleaker view than that of some local economists who have pointed to improving economic indicators. Coca-Cola Amatil’s profit has been hit by shutdowns of restaurants and pubs since March.
The country’s second most-populous state, Victoria, is only now starting to allow dine-in food retailers to open after a new wave of infections prompted a second shutdown.
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“We are really confident about the recovery that the business is making (but) clearly there’s uncertainty over the next couple of years with the economic situation, and just the risk of further health outbreaks that could disrupt the business,” said Coca-Cola Amatil Chief Executive Alison Watkins on an investor call on Monday when asked about the price.