ECONOMY

Coca-Cola HBC AG makes exchange offer for Coca-Cola HBC SA

Coca-Cola HBC AG, set up in Switzerland by Kar-Tess Holding on Sept. 19, said it is offering to acquire shares it doesn?t already own in Athens-based Coca- Cola Hellenic Bottling Co. SA.

Coca-Cola HBC AG is offering one new ordinary share for each share of Coca-Cola HBC SA, the world?s second-largest bottler of Coca-Cola drinks. The move aims ?to facilitate a primary listing? of the Coca-Cola Hellenic Group on the London Stock Exchange and a listing on the New York Stock Exchange under a new Swiss holding company, according to an Athens-bourse filing today from Coca-Cola HBC SA.

Kar-Tess Holding has agreed to exchange the shares it owns in Coca-Cola HBC, which represent a 23.5 percent stake, while Coca-Cola Co. and other long-term shareholders will also offer their shares, representing a total 37.2 percent stake in Greece?s largest company by market value, the filing said.

The primary listing of Coca-Cola Hellenic Group?s shares in London ?better reflects the international nature? of the company?s business, enhances liquidity and may allow for the inclusion of Coca-Cola HBC AG?s shares on the FTSE 100, according to the statement. Coca-Cola HBC operates in 28 countries. [Bloomberg]