Coca-Cola Amatil boss remains skeptical about Lion Nathan bid

Posted by Isobel Drake on 26th November 2008

Coca-Cola Amatil Chief Executive Terry Davis has told a business congress in Sydney this morning that he believes Lion Nathan will struggle to up the bid that CCA believes undervalues their worth.

Last week CCA, Australia’s largest soft drink bottler, advised that they would fend off the $7.6b bid made by Lion Nathan – Australia’s second largest brewer. Mr Davis claimed the bid was flawed and “half-baked” and argued that the bid undervalues the company and could hurt CCA shareholders, as Lion Nathan’s major shareholder – Kirin Holdings – might redirect management talent at CCA to National Foods, their fully-owned dairy business in Australia.

Mr Davis, speaking at the G100 National Congress, outlined concerns about how Lion Nathan would integrate the two businesses and how they could manage to fund an offer greater than the one currently on the table given the current state of the credit markets. “(It) is the question of price and in particular their ability to fund a much higher bid,” he said.

The economic downturn appeared to be having little impact on their business, with Mr Davis proclaiming a record profit was on the cards for the half ending at the end of the year.