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Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

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Prime Minister Hun Sen holds a can of Coca-Cola at the 2016 launch of the Coca-Cola factory in western Phnom Penh. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market.

Swire Coca-Cola affirmed in a statement that it would “assume ownership of Cambodia Beverage Company Ltd and commence its franchise operations in Cambodia from 26th November”.

“The transaction is Swire Coca-Cola’s first investment in Southeast Asia, expanding its operating footprint into a new region. The completion of the deal reflects the vision to expand Swire Coca-Cola’s footprint across a vibrant and dynamic region with immense growth potential, as the company welcomes around 900 employees on board to its thriving team,” it said.

Managing director Karen So is optimistic that Swire Coca-Cola’s expansion into the region would enhance the company’s business performance. “We are delighted to have completed the acquisition of the Coca-Cola bottling business in Cambodia,” she said in the statement.

“Leveraging our proven strengths in commercial capabilities, marketing, supply chain, customer service and digitalisation in our existing operating regions combined with the strength and local expertise of our new colleagues, we will be able to continue serving the needs of our customers and consumers in Cambodia effectively and contribute positively to the local community,” So added.

Patrick Healy, chairman of Swire Coca-Cola, was quoted as saying: “The completion of the Cambodia agreement marks a major milestone for Swire Coca-Cola.

“As our first foray into Southeast Asia, we are thrilled to work alongside our new colleagues and excited by the significant opportunities of the Cambodia beverage market. We feel very positive about the future growth potential of Swire Coca-Cola in Southeast Asia,” he said.

The statement confirmed that the Cambodia Beverage Co Ltd, or Coca-Cola Cambodia, had been a fully-owned subsidiary of The Coca-Cola Co’s Bottling Investments Group (BIG); the local bottling partner of Coca-Cola in the Kingdom; and the exclusive distributor of Monster Energy Co products.

The Coca-Cola Co ASEAN and South Pacific president Claudia Lorenzo added: “Swire Coca-Cola is a strategic bottling partner for the Coca-Cola system with current operations in Greater China and parts of the western United States.

“We are confident that Swire Coca-Cola brings the passion for our business and the capabilities to accelerate even further the tremendous growth of the Cambodia market,” she said in the statement.

Meanwhile, concerning Swire Coca-Cola’s acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Vietnam, the statement noted: “Subject to regulatory approval, [the transaction is] progressing and further updates will be provided in due course”.

In 2016, Coca-Cola opened its $100 million plant in Phnom Penh to meet an increasing demand for the Coke beverage in the Kingdom and ASEAN.

The plant is located on a 12.5ha plot in the Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone southwest of the airport and is able to produce Coke in 54,000 plastic recycle bottles and 60,000 cans in an hour.

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