Coca-Cola Hellenic to exit Greece, seek UK, US listing

Greek beverages bottler and the country's largest company Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Co SA (CCH) said yesterday that it will quit Greece and seek a listing on the stock exchanges of London and New York, inflicting another blow to the already struggling eurozone nation.

In a voluntary share exchange offer, Athens-based CCH said that a newly formed Swiss company Coca-Cola HBC AG would acquire the shares of Coca-Cola Hellenic and establish a premium listing of the Coca-Cola Hellenic Group on the London Stock Exchange.

The company says the London listing will give it access to international investors, on the most liquid equity market in Europe providing flexibility to fund the company's future growth.

Simultaneously, a listing of Coca-Cola HBC AG American depositary shares (ADSs) will be done in the New York Stock Exchange and the company will also apply for a parallel listing on the Athens Stock Exchange.

CCH was established in 2000 through the merger of Athens-based Hellenic Bottling Company and London-based Coca-Cola Beverages. Major shareholders of the company are the Kar-Tess Holding SA and the Coca-Cola Co of the US.

CCH has licences to produce and sell a diverse range of ready-to-drink non-alcoholic beverages in the sparkling, juice, water, sport, energy, tea and coffee categories and its world leading brands include Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola Light, Fanta and Sprite.