Lion Nathan bid for Coca-Cola Amatil withdrawn

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 9th February 2009

Coca-Cola Amatil’s major shareholder, The Coca-Cola Company (TCCC), has sent a letter to Kirin – the major shareholder of Lion Nathan – advising that they would no longer discuss the prospect of a takeover. Lion Nathan has since withdrawn the $7.6b offer made in November, which Coca-Cola Amatil never warmed to.

“CCA has today received a copy of a letter sent by TCCC to Kirin. That letter advises that TCCC has terminated discussions with Kirin involving any acquisition of CCA by Lion under the Proposal,” CCA noted in a statement. “Given the Proposal required the support of TCCC as a condition of the Proposal being able to proceed, the CCA Board takes the existence of this letter as bringing the Proposal to an end.”

Lion Nathan has since reported they were “surprised” that TCCC had ceased discussions with Kirin, as they believed “significant progress” was being made last week. They have now terminated the Proposal.

“We made a very attractive offer at a 30 per cent premium in very challenging market conditions,” Lion Nathan CEO, Rob Murray, said. “It is disappointing that CCA shareholders will not have the opportunity to consider our proposal and enjoy the benefits that our merger would have delivered. We are not, however, prepared to invest further pursuing this transaction unless all parties are willing to try and facilitate an outcome.”

In early trade, Coca-Cola Amatil shares had plummeted more than 11 per cent on the news.