Coca-Cola has agreed to buy the UK chain Costa Coffee for $5.1bn, stepping into a battle with Starbucks as it gains a global brand in hot drinks.
Whitbread agreed to sell Costa, which operates more than 3 800 locations in 32 countries, the companies said in a statement on Friday. The price is 16 times this year’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation.
“Hot beverages are one of the few remaining segments of the total beverage landscape where Coca-Cola does not have a global brand,” Coca-Cola chief executive officer James Quincey said in the statement.
“Costa gives us access to this market through a strong coffee platform.”