By Ian Neubauer

Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA) has refused to enter the fray of mud-slinging that has surfaced in the wake of Lion Nathan’s failed $8 million bid to acquire the bottler.

“It’s business as usual,” a CCA spokesperson said today (Feb 11), adding that the company would be releasing its annual results tomorrow (Feb 12).

Negotiations between Lion Nathan majority shareholder, Kirin Holdings of Japan, and CCA majority shareholders, The Coca-Cola Company (TCCC) of Atlanta, broke down on Saturday (Feb 7), following the protracted takeover bid that had been sugar-coated as a “merger”.

Lion Nathan CEO Rob Murray implied that by failing to help shore up TCCC’s support, CCA had not acted in the best interest of its shareholders.

“We made a very attractive offer at a 30 per cent premium in very challenging market conditions,” he said. “It is disappointing that CCA’s shareholders will not have the opportunity to consider our proposal and enjoy the benefits that the merger would have delivered.”

CCA insists it has acted in the best interest in the shareholders, saying the offer was “unattractive” and contained “material deficiencies”.

CCA refused to comment on reports that CEO Terry Davis would have pocketed a cash and share windfall worth more than $12 million if the bid had been successful.

Davis himself had publicly rebuked the bid, describing it as “half-baked”, "half-cocked" and implying it was doomed to fail.

CCA shares, which were trading at around $8 when news of Lion Nathan’s takeover bid emerged in November, were trading at $8.32 at midday today (Feb 12).

To comment on this story, click here.



The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *