Coke FEMSA sells back PH stake
The Coca-Cola Co. (TCCC) said its Bottling Investments Group (BIG) will take over bottling operations in the Philippines after Coca-Cola FEMSA’s board voted to exercise the option to sell its 51 percent stake in Coca-Cola Philippines back to TCCC.
The deal, which is still subject to regulatory approvals, came at a time when Coca-Cola FEMSA is struggling because of “unreliable local sugar supply” and months after it had to lay off some employees because of higher excise taxes on sugar sweetened beverages.
“We respect Coca-Cola FEMSA’s decision, and we appreciate the progress made during their five-year tenure in the Philippines,” John Murphy, president of the Asia Pacific Group for TCCC, said in a statement cited in a Philippine Star report.
“The market is better positioned than ever before for future success, and we are confident about the potential ahead. The Coca-Cola Co. will work to ensure a smooth transition of the Philippines bottling operations to BIG, for all customers, business partners, consumers and, importantly, for all those who work in the bottling operations,” he added.
For his part, TCCC President and General Manager in Philippines Winn Everhart said he is confident about the Philippine market and the opportunities that lie ahead.
“With BIG’s depth of experience and solid track record in Southeast Asia, we believe they will bring significant value to our business,” Everhart said.
BIG president Calin Dragan, on the other hand, said the Philippines is a welcome addition to the company’s portfolio as Southeast Asia is considered an important market.