China foods considers sale of Coca-Cola Mainland bottling stakes

China Foods is considering a sale of its stakes in 10 Coca-Cola bottling companies in China.
China Foods is considering a sale of its stakes in 10 Coca-Cola bottling companies in China. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

BEIJING (BLOOMBERG) - State-owned China Foods is considering a sale of its stakes in 10 Coca-Cola bottling companies in China through a public tender, it said Tuesday.

The company will sell stakes varying from 7.15 per cent to 100 per cent through the China Beijing Equity Exchange, it said in a Hong Kong stock exchange filing. Many of the bottling stakes listed for sale are joint ventures with Swire Pacific. No value was given.

China is the world's largest consumer market for food and beverages products, as an emerging middle-class gravitates toward foreign brands. Coca-Cola in February announced plans to significantly speed up the re-franchising of its bottling operations. The world's largest soft-drink company also signed a letter of intent to refranchise its China bottling operations to China Foods and Swire Beverage Holdings.

Chinese state-owned companies are required to make public their intention of a sale within 20 working days of the event, according to China Foods.

China is Coca-Cola's third-largest market by volume, and a "significant long-term growth opportunity" for the drinks company, it said in a February statement. Coca-Cola is currently investing US$4 billion (S$5.4 billion) in China for future growth, the company said.