Coca-Cola Buys Costa Coffee

Costa Coffee

CBJ — Coca-Cola is buying the Costa coffee brand from British firm Whitbread for more than US$5 billion.

Costa is Britain’s biggest coffee company with more than 2,400 coffee shops in the U.K. and another 1,400 in more than 30 countries, including 460 in China, its second-biggest market.

The deal is expected to close in the first half of next year.

The sale represents a colossal return on investment to Whitbread, which bought Costa in 1995 for about $US25 million. The company was founded in 1971.