Coca-Cola West to Fold in East Japan in $2.7 Billion Stock Deal

  • Coca-Cola West to pay 0.75 shares for each of Coca-Cola East
  • East to delist after combination to form dominant bottler

Coca-Cola West Co. agreed to buy Coca-Cola East Japan Co. in a stock swap that values the target at about 270 billion yen ($2.7 billion) to improve efficiency amid intensifying competition in the country’s soft-drinks business.

Coca-Cola West will pay 0.75 shares of its own stock for each Coca-Cola East Japan share, with the latter bottler being delisted March 29, the companies said in a statement Friday. The agreement values each Coca-Cola East share at 2,114.25 yen, about 3 percent less than the closing price Friday.

The companies had agreed in April to combine their businesses to form a bottler that would account for about 86 percent of Coca-Cola products sold in Japan. The brand controlled about 27 percent of the country’s soft-drinks market in 2015, followed by Suntory Beverage & Food Ltd. with 21 percent and Asahi Group Holdings Ltd. with about 13 percent, according to researcher Inryosoken.

Coca-Cola West has a market value of about 313 billion yen, compared with 279 billion yen for Coca-Cola East Japan, as of the close Friday in Tokyo.

There are seven bottlers that manufacture and sell Coca-Cola products across Japan, according to Coca-Cola West’s website.

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