Coca-Cola has reached a definitive agreement to acquire the Costa Coffee chain from its current owner Whitbread.
The acquisition of Costa is valued at £3.9 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.
Costa ranks as the leading coffee company in the UK and has a growing footprint in China, among other markets. The company also has a solid presence with Costa Express, which offers barista-quality coffee in a variety of on-the-go locations, including gas stations, movie theaters and travel hubs.
For Coca-Cola, the expected acquisition adds a scalable coffee platform with critical know-how and expertise in a fast-growing, on-trend category.
Costa also provides Coca-Cola with strong expertise across the coffee supply chain, including sourcing, vending and distribution. This will be a complement to existing capabilities within the Coca-Cola system.
Coca-Cola president and CEO James Quincey 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.”
Costa manning director Dominic Paul added: “The Costa team and I are extremely excited to be joining The Coca-Cola Company.
“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. 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’.”