Coca-Cola HBC (LON:CCH) announced on Monday that it has acquired Bambi, Serbia’s leading confectionary business. The business was acquired from Mid Europa Partners in a €260 million deal.
Coca-Cola HBC is the world’s third-largest Coca-Cola bottler. The company, listed on the London Stock Exchange, has a secondary listing on the Athens Stock Exchange as it was founded in Greece in 1969.
Bambi was established in 1967 in Serbia and is a leading confectionary business in the region. It manufactures a range of products such as biscuits, wafers and savoury snacks. Under its portfolio, its brands include Bambi, Plazma, Wellness, Zlatni Pek, and Josh. Among these, its main biscuit brand Plazma is ranked first in brand recognition in Serbia, Coca-Cola HBC said.
Bambi’s 2018 revenue was €80 million. Over two thirds was generated in Serbia, with the rest being predominantly generated in the Western Balkans.
Its EBIT margin is almost three times higher than Coca-Cola HBC.
Last week, Coca-Cola HBC’s full-year results were at the top of guidance, driven by strong volume growth. Volume growth accelerated to 4.2%, with all segments experiencing a rise, particularly sparkling beverages. However, it did forecast 2019 economic growth to slow down in a variety of its markets, whilst still expecting volume to grow across all three segments.
The acquisition adds iconic brands to the Coca-Cola HBC portfolio in Serbia and in the Western Balkans.
The company has said that these two territories are among its fastest growing.
Soran Bogdanovic, CEO of Coca-Cola HBC, commented on the acquisition:
“This acquisition represents an excellent opportunity to create additional value for Coca‑Cola HBC, its customers and shareholders. It adds iconic, complementary consumer brands to our portfolio of leading beverage brands, as well as consumer-focused innovation capabilities. It further strengthens our relevance with customers and allows us to increase our presence in key consumption occasions, such as the start of the day, on the go and at home snacking and refreshment.”
Last year, The Coca-Cola company set its eyes on the cannabis market, closely watching the cannabis-infused drinks market. Additionally, it purchased the Costa Coffee chain from Whitbread in a £3.9 billion deal, following the announcement from Whitbread earlier in the year that it wanted to spin off its Costa Coffee branch.
At 09:40 GMT Monday, shares in Coca-Cola HBC AG (LON:CCH) were trading at -0.59%.
Though trading is yet to begin in the US, shares in The Coca-Cola company (NYSE:KO) closed trading at -0.77% Friday evening.