Coca-Cola Co. Acquires Coffee Brewer, Retailer

Beverage maker hopes to create global brand

ATLANTA -- The Coca-Cola Co. took a major step into both the hot-beverage and cafe businesses with its acquisition of England's Costa Ltd.

The acquisition of Costa from parent company Whitbread PLC is valued at $5.1 billion and "will give Coca-Cola a strong coffee platform across parts of Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, with the opportunity for additional expansion," the company said Aug. 31. Costa operations include its coffee brand, nearly 4,000 retail outlets, a coffee vending operation, at-home coffee formats and a state-of-the-art roastery.

Costa has a solid presence in retail with Costa Express, which offers barista-quality coffee in a variety of on-the-go locations, including gas stations, movie theaters and travel hubs. Costa, in various formats, has the potential for further expansion with customers across the Coca-Cola system, the Atlanta-based company said.

The acquisition will expand the existing Coca-Cola coffee lineup by adding another brand and platform. The portfolio already includes the market-leading Georgia brand in Japan, plus coffee products in many other countries.

Costa also provides Coca-Cola with strong expertise across the coffee supply chain, the company said, including sourcing, vending and distribution.

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

"Today, with the growth in coffee and hot beverages, it’s more important than ever that Coca-Cola make a serious and significant investment in the category, because it’s the right thing to do to serve our consumers with more of the drinks they want, which in turn helps our customers," he said.

Photograph and video courtesy of Coca-Cola Co.

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