- Bottling company Coca-Cola European Partners said it had signed a non-binding proposal to acquire 69.2% of Australia bottler Coca-Cola Amatil in a deal worth €6.5 billion.

The company said the deal would double its consumer reach to 600 million.

Coca-Cola European Partners also reported a fall third-quarter revenue, though said volumes improved signficantly compared with the second-quarter, as the lifting of lockdown restrictions boosted demand.

Under the terms of the deal, the company had also entered into a non-binding agreement to acquire the 10.8% Coca-Cola owned in Coca-Cola Amatil for A$9.57 per share in cash, and would also work with Coca-Cola to acquire its remaining 20% stake.

In the three months through September, revenue fell 3% to €3.18 billion, paced by a decline of 2% in Great Britain and 16% in Ibera, which included Spain, Portugal, and Andorra.

The company declared a dividend per share of €0.85, representing a dividend payout ratio of about 50% based on current consensus expectations for comparable diluted earnings per share.

Looking ahead, the company said it expected that the worst hit of the Covid-19 pandemic to performance had been seen in the second quarter.

'While the reintroduction of restrictions and local lockdowns has resulted in continued uncertainty about the duration and impact of the pandemic, we continue to believe that the second quarter will be the most impacted,' it added.

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