Lion Nathan will keep on talking

Brewer Lion Nathan has said it will seek talks with America’s The Coca-Cola Company (TCCC) as it continues with its $8 billion bid for Coca-Cola Amatil Ltd (CCA) after the opening bid met with opposition from TCCC, a 30% stakeholder of CCA.

Lion Nathan CEO, Rob Murray, said that he was disappointed with the way the bid had progressed so far, but said Lion and its Japanese parent Kirin would seek talks with TCCC.

“This came out in a fairly hasty way that we didn’t particularly want,” Murray said.

“I think, therefore, that we need to regroup, make sure all the stakeholders understand the value.

“Clearly, then it’s appropriate for some sort of dialogue between Kirin, ourselves and the TCCC.

“I’d love the CCA to be alongside us in agreement with us, but if that is not possible then I guess we circle back round with them after that dialogue.”

He said the bid would not go ahead if TCCC remains opposed to the proposal.

“We’re not even remotely thinking this could be done on a hostile basis,” he said.

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