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Announcement:

Moody's says Coke and Green Mountain deal a credit positive for both companies

06 Feb 2014

New York, February 06, 2014 -- Moody's Investors Service said today that the announcement of a long term strategic partnership between The Coca-Cola Company ("Coke", Aa3, stable) and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. ("GMCR", Ba2, stable) is a credit positive for both companies. On February 5th, the companies jointly announced that they will be entering into a ten-year agreement to collaborate on the development and introduction of The Coca-Cola Company's global brand portfolio for use in GMCR's planned Keurig Cold™ at-home beverage system. As part of the agreement, GMCR and The Coca-Cola Company will cooperate to bring the new Keurig Cold™ beverage system to consumers around the world. In order to align their long-term interests, the companies also entered into a Common Stock Purchase Agreement under which The Coca-Cola Company will purchase a 10% minority equity position in GMCR and have the option to increase its stake to up to 16%.

"For Coca-Cola, the benefits of the partnership include the ability to compete in the prepared in home segment of the cold beverage industry" said Linda Montag, Moody's SVP. "This is particularly important given a long-term decline in traditional carbonated soft beverage (CSD) category in the U.S. Furthermore, the partnership offers Coca the potential to diversify its beverage offerings and distribution model to benefit from the growing at home pod coffee market", added Montag.

"For GMCR, the transaction is an even bigger boost as the company will benefit from Coca-Cola's R&D, sales & marketing capabilities and global distribution in addition to the exclusive right to use Coke's world leading brands in its pod system" said Brian Weddington, Moody's VP -- Senior Credit Officer.

The $1.25 billion investment by Coke for a 10% stake is manageable given that the company had over $17 billion in cash and short term investments as of the end of its 2013 third quarter. GMCR said that it intends to use proceeds from Coke's investment both for share buybacks under its existing $1.1 billion share repurchase authorization and to fund investment in the new cold beverage system.

For further information please see Moody's issuer comment on www.moodys.com.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. ("GMCR") based in Waterbury, Vermont, is a manufacturer of Keurig® single serve brewing systems and beverages, including specialty coffee, tea and other beverages, in single serve packs for use with its brewers. For the twelve months ended December 28, 2013 the company generated net sales of $4.4 billion.

The Coca-Cola Company ("Coca-Cola"), based in Atlanta, Georgia, is the world's largest manufacturer, marketer and distributor of nonalcoholic beverage concentrates and syrups. Coke and its rated bottlers had aggregated system sales of over $85 billion in 2012.

The key methodology used to analyze GMCR is the Global Packaged Goods Methodology (published in June 2013). The key methodology used to analyze Coca-Cola is the Global Soft Beverage Methodology (published in May 2013).

Linda J Montag
Senior Vice President
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service, Inc.
250 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10007
U.S.A.
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Brian Weddington, CFA
VP - Senior Credit Officer
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service, Inc.
250 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10007
U.S.A.
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Peter H. Abdill, CFA
MD - Corporate Finance
Corporate Finance Group
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Releasing Office:
Moody's Investors Service, Inc.
250 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10007
U.S.A.
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Moody's says Coke and Green Mountain deal a credit positive for both companies
No Related Data.
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