Coca-Cola to acquire coffee shop chain Costa from Whitbread for $5.1bn


Coca-Cola acquisition of Costa : Soft drinks giant Coca-Cola has agreed to acquire coffee shop chain Costa from British multinational hotel, coffee shop and restaurant company Whitbread for $5.1 billion (£3.9 billion).

Coca-Cola acquisition of Costa is expected to give a solid coffee platform for the soft drinks company in parts of Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Africa, with scope for further expansion.

Founded in London in 1971, Costa boasts of around 4,000 retail outlets with baristas, a coffee vending operation, for-home coffee formats and Costa’s roastery. It was acquired by Whitbread in 1995 for £19 million at a time when it had only 39 coffee shops.

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Today, Costa, apart from being a well-known coffee company in the UK, has gone on to have an emerging footprint in China, in addition to other markets.

Soft drinks giant Coca-Cola to acquire coffee shop chain Costa from Whitbread for $5.1bn.

Soft drinks giant Coca-Cola to acquire coffee shop chain Costa from Whitbread for $5.1bn. Photo courtesy of THE COCA-COLA COMPANY.

The British coffee shop chain has a strong presence with Costa Express, which features barista-quality coffee in a range of on-the-go locations such as gas stations, cinema theaters and travel networks.

Coca-Cola acquisition of Costa will also enlarge the current coffee lineup of the soft drinks giant by adding another coffee brand and platform, which will join the Georgia coffee brand in Japan alongside other coffee products in several other countries.

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Commenting on Coca-Cola acquisition of Costa, James Quincey – President and CEO of Coca-Cola, said: “Costa gives Coca-Cola new capabilities and expertise in coffee, and our system can create opportunities to grow the Costa brand worldwide.

“Hot beverages is one of the few segments of the total beverage landscape where Coca-Cola does not have a global brand. Costa gives us access to this market with a strong coffee platform.”

Dominic Paul – Managing Director of Costa, commenting on Coca-Cola acquisition of Costa, said: “Costa is a fantastic business with committed and passionate associates, a great track record and enormous global potential. Being part of the Coca-Cola system will enable us to grow the business farther and faster.

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“I would like to say a huge thank you to our customers and to everyone in the Costa team who have helped us build the business to this position, and I look forward to the next exciting chapter in Costa’s vision of Inspiring the World to Love Great Coffee.”

Coca-Cola acquisition of Costa coffee shop chain is likely to be completed in the first half of 2019 based on approval of Whitbread shareholders followed by meeting of customary closing conditions like antitrust approvals in the European Union and China among others.

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