Enterprise completes €135m soft drinks purchase

The Eastern European private equity firm has closed its deal for non-alcoholic beverage producer Kofola-Hoop in what it says is the region’s largest ever transaction in the fast-moving consumer goods sector.

Polish Enterprise Investors has acquired a 42.46 percent stake in soft drink manufacturer Kofola-Hoop, in a PLN 480 million (€135 million; $173 million) take-private. 

This is an €8 million reduction from the original offer which was reported in October, due to a change in the Euro to Polish Zloty exchange rate. 

The Polish beverage company is likely to become a “key player” on the Central and Eastern European market, which is why the firm decided to pay a premium of 48 percent for its 42.46 percent share, Jacek Wozniak, Enterprise partner, said in a statement.
 
Kofola-Hoop is is the third largest company by market share in its sector in Polish and Czech markets and it is the second largest in Slovakia, where consumers prefer it to Coke and Pepsi, Enterprise said.

Kofola-Hoop has eight factories located in Poland, The Czech Republic, Slovakia and Russia, employing more than 2,600 people. The company’s founders and managers have retained a controlling stake of 57 percent.

The public offering took place during October and November 2008 and Enterprise acquired almost all the shares in the company that were for sale, leaving 0.5 percent as free float.

A portion of Enterprise’s investment was made up of an undisclosed amount of debt.  The investment was made through the firm’s Polish Enterprise Fund VI fund,, which closed on €658 million in 2006.

Enterprise was established in1990 and manages seven funds totalling €1.7 billion with investments in more than 100 companies across a variety of sectors.