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M&A News: Cola wars

Sep 25, 2013

Latin America’s Coca-Cola bottlers tussle over the Brazilian market while elsewhere telecom acquisitions heat up

By Ben MillerBrazil has been the center of attention for Latin America's Coca-Cola bottlers. Chile's Embotelladora Andina and Mexico's Coca-Cola Femsa (KOF) both gained sizeable footprints. KOF agreed to pay $1.86 billion for Spaipa, the second-largest privately owned coke bottler in Brazil, two months after picking up Companhia Fluminense de Refrigerantes in July for $448 million. Analysts said KOF paid a high price for Spaipa, but the market position might make it worthwhile. Not to be outdone, Andina moved for Companhia de Bebidas Ipiranga in a deal valued at $540 million. The purchase was seen as fair to slightly expensive, and adds to Andina's existing assets in Brazil as it expands outside Chile. In telecoms, Millicom agreed to merge its Colombian wireless operations with Empresas Públicas de Medellin's (EPM) fixed-line operator UNE. The two will form a new combined entity. The deal values UNE at $2.1 billion...

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