Whitbread to sell Costa Coffee chain to Coca-Cola for £3.9billion

Costa Coffee will return most of the proceeds from the Coca Cola to shareholders

Costa Coffee will return most of the proceeds from the Coca Cola to shareholders

Coke has agreed to acquire Costa Coffee.

The current owner, Whitbread, announced a plan to spin off Costa earlier this year.

Costa, which is now owned by Whitbread, is being sold for £3.9 billion ($5.1 billion).

Doing so, Whitbread said, would "provide headroom" to expand Premier Inn in Britain and Germany.

Chief executive Alison Brittain said Whitbread would now focus on its Premier Inn business in the United Kingdom and Germany. "A significant majority" of the proceeds will be given to the shareholders, the firm added.

That triggered interest in the coffee chain from potential buyers, Brittain said.

If Coke can't offer them a good coffee option, it's "a setback" for the company, Stanford said.

The surprise announcement immediately prompted speculation that the FTSE 100 leisure group's remaining Premier Inn business could also attract the attention of suitors amid growing consolidation in the hotel sector.

"Brands are interested in securing the means of distribution", he said. It 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", Coca-Cola said in a statement. According to reports, the deal will be finalised in the first half of 2019.

The Jacksonville Landing reopens Tuesday after shooting tragedy
Poindexter was admitted to a hospital briefly with a sprained ankle and Williams suffered minor scratches to his legs, they said. The decision comes after the deaths of Elijah Clayton , 22, of Woodland Hills, Calif., and Taylor Robertson , 28, of Giles, W.

She kept pushing for a higher price even after entering exclusive talks with the soft drinks giant and wouldn't surrender to a low-ball bid, a source close to the company said.

While Costa does not compete in the USA market, it is the U.K.'s leading coffee chain and operates several hundred outlets in China.

Coca-Cola are known for their soft drinks but they now have no coffee products in their portfolio, so Costa is an appealing prospect to expand their range.

Shareholders in Whitbread were impressed by the deal and the company's share price soared 16 per cent in morning trading in London.

Asked if Whitbread had been pressured to accelerate the sale by activist investor Elliott and other hedge funds, Chief Executive Alison Britain said no.

"It's been a very fast transaction", she said.

The deal, worth £3.9bn, has been unanimously approved by Whitbread shareholders. Some will be used to pay down debt and to make a contribution to the pension fund.

Whitbread bought Costa for 19 million pounds in 1995, when it had just 39 shops. Over the years, it has owned well-known brands such as TGI Fridays, Pizza Hut and Marriott Hotels.

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