Coca-Cola FEMSA in $700 mln deal to buy Mexican bottler

MEXICO CITY Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:03pm EST

MEXICO CITY Jan 17 (Reuters) - Mexican bottler Coca-Cola FEMSA SAB De CV said on Thursday that it has agreed to buy Grupo Yoli, maker of a popular lime-flavored soft drink, in a deal valued at around $700 million where the Coke giant will pay with shares and absorb debt.

Grupo Yoli, which operates in the western states of Guerrero and Oaxaca, will get 42.4 million of newly-issued Coca-Cola FEMSA L Shares, each valued at 184 pesos. Additionally, Coca-Cola FEMSA will absorb 1 billion pesos in net debt.

As part of the agreement, Coca-Cola FEMSA will also gain a 10.14 percent stake in Promotora Industrial Azucarera, boosting its holding in one of Mexico's top sugar producers to 36.3 percent.

The Yoli deal must still be approved by regulators and shareholders.

The Mexican bottler has recently expanded its footprint in Mexico and abroad via acquisitions. In December, Coca-Cola FEMSA reached a deal to buy 51 percent in Coca-Cola Co's Philippine bottling operations for $688.5 million in cash.

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