Coca-Cola HBC Gets $2 Billion Loan to Back London Listing

Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling SA, (EEEK) the world’s second-largest bottler of the soft drink, has obtained 1.55 billion euros ($2 billion) of loans to back the company’s move out of Greece.

The financing is being arranged for Coca-Cola HBC AG, a new company established in Switzerland to take over the Greek business, and comprises 550 million euros of acquisition financing, 500 million euros of revolving credit facilities and a 500 million-euro term loan to refinance debt, according to an Athens exchange filing today.

The company, advised by Credit Suisse Group AG, plans a primary listing in London and potentially New York, it said. Listing in London “will give us greater recognition among international investors, will increase the liquidity of our stock and improve our access to the international equity and debt markets,” Dimitris Lois, Coca-Cola HBC’s chief executive officer, told reporters on a conference call today.

Coca-Cola HBC shares fell 4.9 percent today to 15.66 euros at the close of trading in Athens.

The acquisition loan will be used for the cash component of the offer if it’s needed, and the revolver and refinancing lines will replace Coca-Cola Hellenic’s existing debt if required, according to the filing.

Both loans mature in July 2014 or 18 months after the company issues a prospectus for the London Stock Exchange listing, whichever is sooner. The refinancing loan matures in March 2014 or at the time the acquisition facility matures, whichever is later.

Under a revolver, money can be borrowed again once it’s repaid.

Coca-Cola HBC may enter the FTSE 100 if successful, as its market value is equivalent to about 4.4 billion pounds ($7.1 billion).

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephen Morris in London at smorris39@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Faris Khan at fkhan33@bloomberg.net

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.