The Coca-Cola Company has reportedly reached a definitive agreement to acquire Costa Limited, which was founded in London in 1971 and has grown to become a major coffee brand across the world.
The acquisition of Costa from parent company Whitbread PLC is reportedly valued at $5.1 billion and will give Coca-Cola a strong coffee platform across parts of Europe, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, with the opportunity for additional expansion. Costa operations include a leading brand, nearly 4,000 retail outlets with highly trained baristas, a coffee vending operation, for-home coffee formats and Costa’s state-of-the-art roastery.
For Coca-Cola, the expected acquisition adds a scalable coffee platform with critical know-how and expertise in a fast-growing, on-trend category. Costa ranks among the leading coffee company in the UK and has a growing footprint in China, among other markets. Costa has a solid presence with Costa Express, which offers barista-quality coffee in a variety of on-the-go locations, including gas stations, movie theatres and travel hubs. Costa, in various formats, has the potential for further expansion with customers across the Coca-Cola system.
The acquisition will expand the existing Coca-Cola coffee line-up by adding another leading brand and platform. The portfolio already includes the market-leading Georgia brand in Japan, plus coffee products in many other countries.
Costa also provides Coca-Cola with strong expertise across the coffee supply chain, including sourcing, vending and distribution. This will be a complement to existing capabilities within the Coca-Cola system.
“Costa gives Coca-Cola new capabilities and expertise in coffee, and our system can create opportunities to grow the Costa brand worldwide,” says Coca-Cola president and CEO James Quincey. “Hot beverages are one of the few segments of the total beverage landscape where Coca-Cola does not have a global brand. Costa gives us access to this market with a strong coffee platform.”
“The Costa team and I are extremely excited to be joining The Coca-Cola Company,” adds Costa managing director Dominic Paul. “Costa is a fantastic business with committed and passionate associates, a great track record and enormous global potential. Being part of the Coca-Cola system will enable us to grow the business farther and faster. I would like to say a huge thank you to our customers and to everyone in the Costa team who have helped us build the business to this position, and I look forward to the next exciting chapter in Costa’s vision of Inspiring the World to Love Great Coffee.”
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