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Coca-Cola on Friday announced a surprise move to buy Costa Coffee, one of Europe’s largest cafe chains, from current owners Whitbread for £3.9 billion ($5.1 billion).

Whitbread has been clear for a while that it wanted to offload Costa, and had initially planned to spin off the company from its main business. However, it settled on a sale after an approach from Coca-Cola in June.

On the surface, the move makes sense for both sides of the deal, with Whitbread earning significantly more from the sale than it would have from a spin out, and Coca-Cola getting a well established brand in a space it is looking to enter.

But how are analysts in the City of London and on Wall Street reacting to the news, one of the biggest leisure deals of 2018 so far? To find out, Business Insider rounded up some of the notes and analysis circulated on Friday.

Check them out below.


Credit Suisse: “A huge premium”

Credit Suisse:
A Cappuccino stands on a table at a branch of Costa coffee in Manchester, Britain.
Reuters/Phil Noble

The Swiss lender focuses on how much higher a valuation Coca-Cola is paying for Costa Coffee than the market currently values it.

“A huge premium to that implied by the market: We valued Costa at £2.5bn in our 5280p SOTP based on a 10x 2019E EBITDA multiple,” a team of analysts led by Tim Ramskill wrote.

“The disposal price of £3.8bn (after transaction costs) implies a 15.7x multiple. We estimate the current share price was discounting a multiple of 8.0x and therefore the deal adds £2.0bn of value or 1075p per share compared to the close price.”

Effectively, the deal is twice as costly as it perhaps should have been.


Citi: A $4.2 billion boost to Whitbread

Citi: A $4.2 billion boost to Whitbread Flickr/Mike Mozart

Monique Pollard and her team at Citi believe the deal will give Costa…