February 18, 2019 / 7:30 AM / 5 months ago

Bottler Coca-Cola HBC buys Serbian confectionary firm Bambi

(Reuters) - Soft drink bottler Coca-Cola HBC said on Monday it would buy Serbian biscuit and confectionary maker Bambi for an enterprise value of 260 million euros ($294 million) from private equity investor Mid Europa Partners.

The Swiss-based company, which bottles and sells Coca-Cola Co drinks in 28 countries, said Bambi had revenue of around 80 million euros in 2018, of which more than two thirds were earned in Serbia and the rest in the Western Balkans.

It said the company had “strong” profitability and a margin on earnings before interest and taxation that was nearly three times higher that of Coca-Cola HBC.

Shares of the Switzerland-based bottler fell last week after it warned of higher finance costs on its existing borrowing and weak consumer spending in several of its markets this year.

The deal to buy Bambi is expected to close in the second quarter of 2019, Coca-Cola HBC said.

The Serbian firm was founded in 1967 and makes biscuits, wafers and savory snacks. The company’s brands include Bambi, Plazma, Wellness, Zlatni Pek, and Josh.

(This story removes repeated text from final paragraph, changes media advisory code)

Reporting by Tanishaa Nadkar and Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; editing by Patrick Graham

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