Leading international law firm Herbert Smith Freehills has advised Coca-Cola HBC AG on its agreement to acquire Brown-Forman Finland Oy, owner of the Finlandia vodka brand, from Brown-Forman Corporation's wholly-owned subsidiary, Brown-Forman Netherlands BV.
The acquisition, valued at US$220 million, is being made through Coca-Cola HBC's wholly-owned subsidiary, CC Beverages Holdings II BV. The transaction is expected to be completed in the second half of 2023 and is subject to regulatory approvals.
Coca-Cola HBC is a growth-focused consumer packaged goods business and strategic bottling partner of The Coca-Cola Company. Its portfolio includes consumer-leading beverage brands in the sparkling, juice, water, sport, energy, plant-based, ready-to-drink tea, coffee, adult sparkling and premium spirits categories. These beverages include Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola Zero, Schweppes, Kinley, Costa, Valser, Romerquelle, Fanta, Sprite, Powerade, Aquarius, Vitamin Water, FuzeTea, Cappy, Monster, Burn, Caffè Vergnano and Adez. Coca-Cola HBC has a premium listing on the London Stock Exchange and is listed on the Athens Exchange.
Finlandia was established in 1970 and is a leading vodka brand in Central and Eastern Europe with annual volumes of 2.7 million 9L cases globally, of which more than 60% is being generated within Coca-Cola HBC’s geographic footprint. Coca-Cola HBC has been distributing Finlandia and other premium spirits brands for more than 17 years and this acquisition will further enrich and strengthen its portfolio across more of its markets.
The Herbert Smith Freehills team was led by Corporate partner Malcolm Lombers and counsel Martyn Jones, supported by Corporate partner Gavin Davies and senior associates Arijeet Mukherjee and Jessica Welborn.
The transaction demonstrates the firm's ability to combine its deep consumer sector knowledge and strong M&A expertise to deliver the best solutions that meet clients' needs.