What's going on?
Bottler Coca-Cola European Partners landed on a deal to buy Australian bottler Coca-Cola Amatil for $7 billion on Monday, and they make such a cute pair.
What does this mean?
Coca-Cola doesn’t actually bottle its own drinks: it leaves that to a network of local bottlers – many of which it’s sold off in the past, hence the names. This deal, then, will see two of its old flames join forces, and Coca-Cola European Partners double its current market size. That should help the bottler better withstand an industry-wide slowdown – one that’s been driven by both the pandemic and an increasingly sugar-averse consumer. And it looks like it wasn’t the only company (sigh) thirsty for a deal on Monday…
Why should I care?
For the markets: Manic Monday.
It turns out that Europe’s Cellnex is in discussions to buy CK Hutchison’s wireless tower business for almost $11 billion, in what would be one of Europe’s biggest telecoms infrastructure deals. German chemicals giant Bayer, for its part, agreed to buy US biotech Asklepios BioPharmaceutical for up to $4 billion. And in the States, Arby’s owner Inspire Brands revealed it’s in talks to buy Dunkin’ Brands – it of donut fame – for almost $9 billion. There are plenty of reasons these companies might be keen to splash the cash: the move might open up new regions for them to sell to, it might save them money on duplicate costs, or it might just relieve some of the pressure on them by taking out a member of the competition.
The bigger picture: Catching up and keeping up.
Mergers and acquisitions seemed to be the flavor of last quarter, with a record $1 trillion worth of transactions conducted worldwide. Some companies are just playing catch-up after global lockdowns brought business deals to a halt, but others – like Coca-Cola European Partners – have realized that combining with other companies could be the best way to survive this brave new world.