August 17, 2018 / 5:15 PM / 3 months ago

Shares in Mexico's Coke FEMSA jump after Philippines sale

MEXICO CITY, Aug 17 (Reuters) - Shares in Mexico’s Coca-Cola FEMSA, the world’s biggest coke bottler, jumped more than five percent on Friday after it said it would sell its 51 percent stake in Coca-Cola FEMSA Philippines back to the Coca-Cola Company.

Shares in the company rose by as much as 5.47 percent on the S&P/BMV IPC index on Friday morning, to reach their highest level since July. They were up by 4.82 percent at 117.98 pesos at 1645 GMT.

In a call with analysts on Friday explaining the reasons for the sale, Coca-Cola FEMSA chief executive John Santa Maria said a tax on sweetened beverages in the Philippines that started in January had made sugar prices soar as much as 50 percent.

“This was a particularly difficult decision,” he said.

The company did not disclose the value of the deal.

Brokerage Grupo Bursatil Mexicano estimated that the deal was worth roughly $688 million, the sum that Coca-Cola FEMSA paid to buy the stake in 2013.

At that time, the firm obtained an option to sell its share back to the Coca-Cola Company. (Reporting by Miguel Angel Gutierrez and Daina Beth Solomon, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)

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