Coca-Cola Enterprises (NYSE: CCE) (Euronext Paris: CCE) announced today that the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has declared effective the Registration Statement of Coca-Cola European Partners Limited (“CCEP”), which relates to the previously announced transaction by which CCE, Coca-Cola Iberian Partners, S.A.U. (“CCIP”), and Coca-Cola Erfrischungsgetränke GmbH (“CCEG”), a wholly owned subsidiary of The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO), will combine their businesses to create the world’s largest independent Coca-Cola bottler, based on net sales. The transaction remains on track to close by the end of second quarter, 2016.
CCE has filed its definitive proxy statement/prospectus with the SEC and has set the date for a special shareowner meeting to approve the transaction. The special shareowner meeting will be held at 8:00 a.m., May 24, 2016, in the Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel & Convention Center, 2450 Galleria Pkwy, Atlanta, GA 30339. Shareowners of record at the close of business on April 8, 2016, are entitled to vote their shares either in person or by proxy.
Coca-Cola Enterprises, Inc. is the leading Western European marketer, producer, and distributor of nonalcoholic ready-to-drink beverages and one of the world’s largest independent Coca-Cola bottlers. CCE is the sole licensed bottler for products of The Coca-Cola Company in Belgium, continental France, Great Britain, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden. CCE operates with a local focus and has 17 manufacturing sites across Europe, where the company manufactures nearly 90 percent of its products in the markets in which they are consumed. Sustainability is core to CCE’s business, and the company has been recognized by leading organizations in North America and Europe for its progress in water use reduction, carbon footprint reduction, and recycling initiatives. For more information about CCE, please visit www.cokecce.com and follow the company on Twitter at @cokecce.
This communication may contain statements, estimates or projections that constitute “forward-looking statements” as defined under U.S. federal securities laws. Generally, the words “believe,” “expect,” “intend,” “estimate,” “anticipate,” “project,” “plan,” “seek,” “may,” “could,” “would,” “should,” “might,” “will,” “forecast,” “outlook,” “guidance,” “possible,” “potential,” “predict” and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements, which generally are not historical in nature. Forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from The Coca-Cola Company’s (“KO”), Coca-Cola Enterprises, Inc.’s (“CCE”) or Coca-Cola European Partners Limited’s (“CCEP”) historical experience and their respective present expectations or projections, including expectations or projections with respect to the transaction. These risks include, but are not limited to, obesity concerns; water scarcity and poor quality; evolving consumer preferences; increased competition and capabilities in the marketplace; product safety and quality concerns; perceived negative health consequences of certain ingredients, such as non-nutritive sweeteners and biotechnology-derived substances, and of other substances present in their beverage products or packaging materials; increased demand for food products and decreased agricultural productivity; changes in the retail landscape or the loss of key retail or foodservice customers; an inability to expand operations in emerging or developing markets; fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates; interest rate increases; an inability to maintain good relationships with their partners; a deterioration in their partners’ financial condition; increases in income tax rates, changes in income tax laws or unfavorable resolution of tax matters; increased or new indirect taxes in the United States or in other tax jurisdictions; increased cost, disruption of supply or shortage of energy or fuels; increased cost, disruption of supply or shortage of ingredients, other raw materials or packaging materials; changes in laws and regulations relating to beverage containers and packaging; significant additional labeling or warning requirements or limitations on the availability of their respective products; an inability to protect their respective information systems against service interruption, misappropriation of data or breaches of security; unfavorable general economic or political conditions in the United States, Europe or elsewhere; litigation or legal proceedings; adverse weather conditions; climate change; damage to their respective brand images and corporate reputation from negative publicity, even if unwarranted, related to product safety or quality, human and workplace rights, obesity or other issues; changes in, or failure to comply with, the laws and regulations applicable to their respective products or business operations; changes in accounting standards; an inability to achieve their respective overall long-term growth objectives; deterioration of global credit market conditions; default by or failure of one or more of their respective counterparty financial institutions; an inability to timely implement their previously announced actions to reinvigorate growth, or to realize the economic benefits they anticipate from these actions; failure to realize a significant portion of the anticipated benefits of their respective strategic relationships, including (without limitation) KO’s relationship with Keurig Green Mountain, Inc. and Monster Beverage Corporation; an inability to renew collective bargaining agreements on satisfactory terms, or they or their respective partners experience strikes, work stoppages or labor unrest; future impairment charges; multi-employer plan withdrawal liabilities in the future; an inability to successfully manage the possible negative consequences of their respective productivity initiatives; global or regional catastrophic events; risks and uncertainties relating to the transaction, including the risk that the businesses will not be integrated successfully or such integration may be more difficult, time-consuming or costly than expected, which could result in additional demands on KO’s or CCEP’s resources, systems, procedures and controls, disruption of its ongoing business and diversion of management’s attention from other business concerns, the possibility that certain assumptions with respect to CCEP or the transaction could prove to be inaccurate, the failure to receive, delays in the receipt of, or unacceptable or burdensome conditions imposed in connection with, all required regulatory approvals and the satisfaction of the closing conditions to the transaction, the potential failure to retain key employees of CCE, Coca-Cola Iberian Partners, S.A.U. (“CCIP”) or Coca-Cola Erfrischungsgetränke GmbH (“CCEG”) as a result of the proposed transaction or during integration of the businesses and disruptions resulting from the proposed transaction, making it more difficult to maintain business relationships; and other risks discussed in KO’s and CCE’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), including their respective Annual Reports on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2015, which filings are available from the SEC, and the registration statement on Form F-4, file number 333-208556, that includes a proxy statement of CCE and a prospectus of CCEP, which was filed with the SEC by CCEP. You should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they are made. None of KO, CCE, CCIP or CCEP undertakes any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. None of KO, CCE, CCIP or CCEP assumes responsibility for the accuracy and completeness of any forward-looking statements. Any or all of the forward-looking statements contained in this filing and in any other of their respective public statements may prove to be incorrect.
NO OFFER OR SOLICITATION
This communication does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities or a solicitation of any vote or approval.
IMPORTANT ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AND WHERE TO FIND IT
CCEP has filed with the SEC a registration statement on Form F-4, file number 333-208556, which was declared effective on April 11, 2016. The registration statement includes a proxy statement of CCE that also constitutes a prospectus of CCEP, which is expected to be mailed to CCE stockholders on or about April 13, 2016. INVESTORS ARE URGED TO READ THE DEFINITIVE PROXY STATEMENT/PROSPECTUS (INCLUDING ALL AMENDMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTS THERETO) AND OTHER DOCUMENTS RELATING TO THE TRANSACTION FILED WITH THE SEC BECAUSE THEY CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THE PROPOSED TRANSACTION. You may obtain a copy of the proxy statement/prospectus and other related documents filed by KO, CCE or CCEP with the SEC regarding the proposed transaction as well as other filings containing information, free of charge, through the website maintained by the SEC at www.sec.gov, by directing a request to KO’s Investor Relations department at (404) 676-2121, or to CCE’s Investor Relations department at (678) 260-3110, Attn: Thor Erickson – Investor Relations.
PARTICIPANTS IN SOLICITATION
KO, CCE and CCEP and their respective directors, executive officers and certain other members of management and employees may be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies in favor of the proposed merger. Information regarding the persons who may, under the rules of the SEC, be considered participants in the solicitation of proxies in favor of the proposed merger is set forth in the definitive proxy statement/prospectus filed with the SEC. You can find information about KO’s and CCE’s directors and executive officers in their respective definitive proxy statements filed with the SEC on March 10, 2016, and March 9, 2016, respectively. You can obtain free copies of these documents from KO and CCE, respectively, using the contact information above. Information regarding CCEP’s directors and executive officers is available in the definitive proxy statement/prospectus filed with the SEC.
Thor Erickson, +1-678-260-3110
U.S. Media Relations
Fred Roselli, +1-678-260-3421
European Media Relations
Ros Hunt, +44 (0) 7528 251 022