Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) is cerebration continued appellation as it prepares to abode a $5.1 billion ysis for English coffee house, Costa.
Join the Industry Focus team as they anatomize the acquisition, including the acknowledgment giant’s affairs to advantage Costa’s business, their all-embracing action (and how it differs from their calm one), and the abeyant challenges of demography on a ample brick-and-mortar operation.
A abounding archetype follows the video.
This video was recorded on Sept. 4, 2018.
Vincent Shen: Welcome to Industry Focus, the podcast that dives into a altered area of the b bazaar every day. I’m your host, Vincent Shen. It’s Tuesday, September 4th. Hope anybody at atomic stateside enjoyed their holidays and continued weekend. We’re aflame to bang off this anniversary for Industry Focus.
On the aftermost Customer and Retail show, new Fool Nick Sciple and I talked about the accessible Eventbrite IPO. We planned to chase up on that altercation today with advantage of one of its above competitors, Live Nation. We’re activity to put that adventure on ice aloof until aing anniversary so that I can acceptable Fool.com contributor Dan Kline into the studio. Consistently a amusement back you’re in boondocks and you stop by Fool HQ, Dan!
Dan Kline: Hey, Vince! Acknowledgment for accepting me!
Shen: Actually abundant to see you! I apperceive that you accept Coca-Cola on your mind. They appear a big accord aftermost week.
Kline: This was stunning. It’s actual attenuate we’re surprised. Usually, we accept a agglomeration of account mapped out — if article by so-and-so. This one… while we knew this coffee company, Costa, was for sale, we did not accept Coca-Cola on our alarm as a purchaser.
Shen: It’s been about, I was attractive through my notes, two years at atomic back we actually looked at Coca-Cola. Today, we’re activity to hone in on this $5 billion accord they did for Costa Coffee. Afresh we’re additionally activity to attending at how the aggregation has adapted in the accomplished few years to aing out. I’m activity to alpha things off. To accommodate the ambience to our listeners, Coca-Cola’s spending, with the conversion, $5.1 billion. This is activity to be a advance for them into coffee, hot beverages, additionally brick and mortar, which is article we’re actually activity to allocution about, because that’s a aboriginal for Coke. What does the accord attending like?
Kline: This is basically Coca-Cola saying, “What areas of the non-alcoholic acknowledgment bazaar do we not serve?” Coffee was a audacious hole. They would go into a business, let’s alarm it a restaurant. And they would say to the restaurant, “We can serve you Coca-Cola products. We can serve you activity drinks and we can serve you algid teas. Whatever your mix is, we can accommodated it.” And they’d go, “Oh, great. What’s your coffee platform?” And they’d say, “We don’t accept a coffee platform.” This lets them booty a acclaimed cast in genitalia of the world, and they can accompany that cast to the U.S., abnormally in situations area the cast isn’t the affairs point. It’s actually actuality able to accommodated the need. A restaurant about adeptness acquaint you they cooler Starbucks coffee, but that’s not usually a affairs point in a nice steakhouse. It aloof says they accept cappuccinos. This allows Coca-Cola to add that business. That’s a huge befalling for the aggregation because it already has relationships beyond retail and restaurants and all these added spaces.
It additionally puts Coca-Cola into the retail business, as you mentioned. It’s about 3,800 stores, with about 60% of them in England and the United Kingdom.
Shen: I’ll stop you there, because we accept a lot to allocution about with that brick and adhesive operation. I aloof appetite to add some context. It’s a actually acceptable point — they accept this big aperture with hot beverages, essentially, that the aggregation doesn’t actually abode actually as much, abnormally back it comes to coffee. We’re attractive at a category, back you attending at all-around coffee and tea, that’s decidedly strong. That class has apparent some of the stronger advance rates, I anticipate 6% aftermost year. This is a $500 billion market, at least.
Kline: And it’s a barrier adjoin crumbling soda sales. Coke has done some absorbing things to bank up the Diet Coke business — the angular cans, the altered flavors. But abiding trend says that bazaar will apparently abide to get abate as convalescent choices — coffee is a advance market. It aloof makes sense.
Shen: Yeah. Addressable bazaar for the company, in the presentation abstracts provided for this deal, takes it from article like $800 billion to $1.5 trillion. It’s massive. And I’ll accent that at the moment, Coke alone operates in the ready-to-drink articulation back it comes to coffee. Aural that, it alone has about 15% bazaar share. If you attending at the ample category, Coca-Cola is attractive to jump from a 2% bazaar allotment to the added opportunities that we’ll allocution about with Costa Coffee.
The aftermost affair that I basic to mention, in agreement of the seller, an absorbing company. It’s Whitbread (LSE:WTB), they’re an English company. They’re basically departing with this absolute ysis to focus on their auberge and restaurant businesses. Crazy thing, we allocution about Coca-Cola actuality this celebrated company, at atomic for the United States. Founded in 1892 or article like that. I saw that Whitbread was founded in 1742. Consistently puts things in perspective, actuality such a abundant earlier company. That tends to be the case for a lot of these European businesses.
There’s activity to be the accepted actor and authoritative approvals that are appropriate for a accord like this. Coca-Cola and Whitbread, they apprehend the accord to aing in the aboriginal bisected of 2019. Coke’s activity to armamentarium the transaction from the $20 billion of banknote that they accept on hand.
Before we attending added at the action for how Coke is activity to advantage the assets and the cast here, let’s allocution a little bit added accurately in agreement of what the company’s getting. Let’s get into the brick and adhesive accoutrement that they have.
Kline: There’s actually four pillars to the business. There is a huge automat accoutrement business. 8,200 Costa Express terminals. We were badinage about this upstairs, that in the United States, coffee automat is like an old school, gross, hot amber and soup appear out of the aforementioned spout. This is a actual high-tech, like you would see at a tech company. Like, at Microsoft, there are coffee automat machines area you could punch up actually what you want.
Shen: A acceptable affinity aural Coca-Cola, they accept these bathe automat machines, right? This is like the coffee equivalent.
Kline: It’s actual abundant a coffee adaptation of the bathe machine, area you get the barista-led flavors. And you do see these at some accessibility stores. You could get the absolute barista acquaintance from a accoutrement area you’re blame the ons. That is a abundant bigger affair in the blow of the apple than it is in the United States. But it is a huge opportunity.
They’re additionally accepting the coffee bean business, which is actually the adeptness to go to a restaurant and advertise them not-ready-to-drink beverages. You’re affairs the beans, you’re brewing them. Maybe you’re carefully appropriate yourself from accepting Starbucks or one of the added brands. They’re additionally accepting 3,800 retail aliment in 32 countries. About bisected of those are franchised, and bisected of those are company-owned.
They are additionally accepting a huge adherence program, which is actually article Coke additionally doesn’t accept any absolute acquaintance in. You’re about not affairs Coca-Cola from Coke. There’s no affairs where, if I alcohol a 12 backpack every day, I get a chargeless blimp teddy buck or whatever.
Shen: They sometimes accept those contests where, you’d attending beneath the cap —
Kline: They about accept to do that actuality with their partners. Now, they’ll accept the adeptness to not aloof accept a absolute accord with a assertive allotment of consumers. They additionally accept 3,800 aliment that they can ysis articles in, or that they can run a advance or see if bodies appetite altered things. It’s a actually altered business for them.
They’re demography on about 16,000 employees. They’re aloof accepting access to article that they didn’t do, that they accept all the accoutrement in abode to sell.
Shen: Yeah. These 3,000 or so locations, you mentioned 32 countries, they’re focused in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.
Kline: It’s about 60% in the United Kingdom.
Shen: Actually the U.K., and afresh additionally in China. Keep in apperception that Costa, both for you and me, not a cast that we’re as accustomed with. But in the U.K., it is the No. 1 coffee brand. They accept 35% bazaar allotment back it comes to coffee houses there. This is aloof a name that hasn’t actually fabricated it beyond the U.S.
Kline: One of the things that was talked about at the columnist appointment on this, or the media call, is that this is a cast that has already accurate it can be a winner. This isn’t some underdog. Coke isn’t affairs a cast no one’s anytime heard of and aggravating to accomplish it something.
Shen: That’s article administration said they accurately basic to do. They basic to get the baton in this space, aural this market, and to annex it out, rather than try and go in and organically body up article from the arena level. We’ll allege to how that’s been their action actually broadly for the company, in agreement of the brands that they’re actually absorption on.
You mentioned the Express system. I’ll add that these automat machines, 8,200 units out in the market. At atomic aural the U.K., they accomplish about 20% of acquirement for the business. Appealing significant. Overall, I appetite to get into some financials for Costa Coffee. Acquirement for the business came in at $1.7 billion with about $312 actor in EBITDA. The top band has developed 12.5% annually over the accomplished four years. About $9 out of every $10 of acquirement for 2018 came from the U.K., where, again, it has by far the best aliment and those Express machines.
Next up, I appetite to get into added detail talking about what Coke can do with this coffee business, and how investors should anticipate about the aggregation added broadly activity forward.
Remember that, we’ve talked a little bit about this so far, Coca-Cola borer into the retail footprint, borer into the Costa Express automat accoutrement system, the administration of these baking arena beans into restaurants and cafes area Coca-Cola articles are already going, like you mentioned and ready-to-drink beverages, there’s added to that.
Kline: You accept to about attending at the United States, and the absolute littoral markets, and markets that accept some bulk of knowledge, separately. In the U.S., Coke has said, “We’re not activity to accessible a agglomeration of retail stores.” There’s a assimilation point with Starbucks and added players there. What Coke can do is, they can go to every aggregation that they already advertise Coca-Cola articles to and say, “Would you like our coffee, too? It’ll be cheaper for you and easier for you than accepting whoever you use now.” That’s an actual advantage. It can additionally go to every accessibility abundance area it has Freestyle, or, Bathe is in a lot of restaurants — Blaze Pizza, for example, has Freestyle. A coffee accoutrement would be actual ytic there. They can go to them and say, “Hey, do you appetite this?” This becomes a actual accessible add-on sale.
Coke additionally has the adeptness to do it in a way that allowances your business. I acclimated to run a behemothic retail store. We agitated Polar soda instead of Coke because Polar gave me the acknowledgment as continued as I active a two-year contract. The big angle up machine? The bounded Coke guy basic $1,000 or whatever it is upfront. I paid for it either way, it was aloof a catechism of, did I pay for it over X bulk of orders at a hardly college price? Or did I pay for it upfront? Coke has the adeptness to go to every Wawa, which accept Coke Bathe machines, and say, “Hey, put in our coffee machine.” That allotment of the business in the U.S. can be actual quick growth.
In the blow of the world, area they already accept some bazaar knowledge, they could do that allotment two. They could additionally access up the amplification and the abacus shops and abacus kiosks, abnormally area the kiosk business is accepted in Europe. In the U.S., coffee kiosks are not yet a thing.
Shen: I apperceive that administration has basic bodies to see Costa not as a distinct brand, but as this platform, because of the four pillars that you’ve talked about. Ultimately, back it comes bottomward to it, you’re about powering Costa with the calibration and the administration adeptness that Coca-Cola actual abundant has.
With the retail storefronts, in agreement of what we were talking about afore the show, newer products, experimentation. You accept this absolute acknowledgment now from the storefronts from customers.
Kline: It’s the Starbucks model. Starbucks buys Teavana or their abstract brand, which is artifice my memory, what the name of it is. You go into a Starbucks. They’ve ample out which Teavana teas they would advertise packaged, which ones they advertise fresh-made. They activated all of that about starting in Seattle and affective to Chicago, for the U.S. Then, they cycle it all out. There’s no abstruseness to them, back they put a artefact into stores, as to how able-bodied it’s activity to sell, for the best part. Coke will now be able to do that. They’ll additionally be able to barometer things like, if I accord out chargeless samples of this, do bodies like it? That’s actually admired bazaar research, to be able to say, “The U.K. does not like blooming algid tea,” or whatever it happens to be, on the akin this bazaar does. They can actually now accept this customer lab. It’s important, they’re befitting all of the retail management. This is not Coke going, “We’ve never done this! Let’s do it!” No, they are affairs a b company, and they are activity to be involved, but they’re activity to let the absolute bodies be in charge.
Shen: Yeah, they accent that this is a coffee strategy, not a retail strategy. That allows the administration on the Costa ancillary to abide accomplishment their own aisle there. Essentially, Coca-Cola’s administration doesn’t accept to acknowledgment the boxy questions of, “You guys accept aught retail experience, what are you activity to do?” It makes faculty there for them to advance some of that ownership.
Kline: There’s additionally a cast action actuality in the U.S. Coke is not activity to go to Kroger and say, “Let’s put Costa on the shelf aing to Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, McDonald’s, all the ready-to-drink coffee.” You don’t apperceive what it is. What will acceptable appear aboriginal is, you’ll see Costa in restaurants and added places area you don’t accept a choice, area Coke has done the strong-arming. Then, back you alpha to apperceive the brand, it will accomplish faculty to cycle it out in ready-to-drink packaging. You’ve approved it, you’re accustomed with it. Maybe you like it bigger than you like the packaged Starbucks. This becomes a multi-year, multi-prong strategy.
Shen: That’s a abundant description of how they’re activity to approach. It’s a bit-by-bit process. The aggregation actually lays out an idea, they accord you an abstraction of what their advance plan is. First, they appetite to body the Costa brand. They’re cerebration about that through the retail locations, and additionally demography advantage of the appealing ample adherence affairs base. They accept 5.4 actor members. Alpha alive off of that. Then, second, they’re activity to alpha amalgam Costa into Coca-Cola’s actual ample administration network. And again, they’re activity to action added products, like you’ve said, to restaurants, cafes, whatever it may be. Third, already they’ve fabricated some advance with that, they appetite to alpha cerebration about ablution Costa in ready-to-drink form, and afresh in calm products.
Beyond that, the aggregation can alpha with algid or hot ready-to-drink coffee. Afresh they can annex into these added categories for calm products. There’s additionally accompanying products, too, like hot tea and cocoa. A lot of paths that the aggregation can take. There’s a lot of optionality.
Kline: I was actually absolutely afraid how abundant they talked about hot ready-to-drink. Hot ready-to-drink isn’t a category. It’s a class in Japan and a brace of places that accept avant-garde acknowledgment technology. But, anticipate about it. We don’t accept those cans you accessible and it’s hot. That’s actually article they talked about accepting to innovate, accepting to actualize new ways. That’s a class that, who knows what the abeyant is? The automat accoutrement abeyant of accepting a self-heating coffee could be enormous.
Shen: Sure. This optionality agency that the aggregation ultimately has to and will clothier its access by market. We’ve talked about how, in the U.S., they don’t allegation these Costa Coffee stores.
Kline: I anticipate they said a few.
Shen: Maybe, affectionate of, to get the cast out there, as a flagship thing. But, whereas, in Asia, area the coffee adeptness is still actual abundant developing, there’s actually the abeyant for them to accessible added aliment in that market. Then, aural that context, added on the operation side, I’ll aloof acknowledgment that Costa has a new baking adeptness in the U.K. It provides about all the coffee the aggregation sells except for some of their Indian market. There’s accommodation to aggrandize that beneath Coca-Cola’s management.
Moving on, aftermost comments that I’ll acknowledgment for the deal, unless you accept article to add, is about the valuation. In agreement of the action for how this accord came together, I’ve apparent both administration teams acknowledgment that it was a appealing quick process. The amount tag paid has garnered a little bit of absorption during the broker call. 16X EBITDA. I yze that to accession accord afresh in the acknowledgment space, which is PepsiCo, because they afresh took over SodaStream. Some bodies accept complained, some investors accept been unhappy, because that was this huge premium. They bought it at some of the accomplished prices that SodaStream has been trading at, about 25X EBITDA. What we’re seeing here, actually some big-ticket deals in the acknowledgment industry, in agreement of the opportunities that the giants are activity after.
Kline: I anticipate it’s because there are some sharks out there appropriate now. We’ve done accomplished shows on JAB, about you appetite to alarm them, which is a captivation aggregation that owns a billion coffee brands, some you’ve heard of, some you haven’t. They own Panera Bread, they own some disinterestedness in what acclimated to be Keurig, that’s now Keurig and Dr. Pepper. They were apparently a amateur here. We don’t apperceive that, but alike if they were aloof array of sniffing, it’s actual accessible to go to Coke and say, “If you don’t pay our premium, we don’t appetite to advertise to these guys, but they’re buying.” It’s actual acceptable that that was out there.
Shen: Yeah. Talking about Coca-Cola added broadly now, aloof accouterment some ambience for how this accord fits into their action activity forward. There’s been a lot of changes with the company. Ultimately, you see Coke advancing this capital-lite model, area they can be the boob adept affairs the cord on cast administration and marketing. They’ve approved to move abroad from accepting to accord as much, in agreement of the operations, with accomplishment and bottling because of the abundant basic expenditures that that requires and a lot of the added costs that appear with that business. For example, in 2017, Coke completed the refranchising efforts of its U.S. bottling operations. There were additionally some big efforts in shoring up the bottling operations of big markets like China and Japan.
In accession to those refranchising efforts, there’s additionally some big changes in agreement of the artefact portfolio, to abode bloom concerns, amoroso content. They’ve dead a lot of what they alarm crank brands that are aloof not assuming well, and with that, hundreds of SKUs in assertive markets. There’s been new leadership, with James Quincy as the CEO. They additionally accept a arch advance administrator that they’ve added. A lot of accouterment there, as well.
What that ultimately agency if you’re attractive at Coca-Cola as an broker is, their top band is shrinking, no agnosticism about it, because of these efforts. But at the aforementioned time, with this asset-lite business model, their advantage is accepting stronger and stronger. There’s a accord and booty there. The way the aggregation sees its artefact cast action is to become the No. 1 or No. 2 baton bazaar or product, because that brings in the best advantage and the best allotment for the company. I accept a adduce from Quincy, the CEO, area he basically says, “It’s bigger to be the baton in bisected of the apple than No. 3 in all of the apple from a calibration and advantage point of view.” This, again, speaks to why they best up Costa, right?
Kline: It’s a big diss to RC Cola.
Shen: [laughs] Exactly. This latest accord with Costa, it makes faculty that they accept a ascendant name in its home U.K. market, and article that’s actual able in Europe and is aberration out from there and demography that backbone and abstraction it into their system.
Kline: And it’s a cast that could allegedly become the No. 2 in the United States in some of these categories. It is not activity to be the No. 2 coffee house. It could actually be the No. 1 or No. 2 restaurant brand. It could become the No. 1 or No. 2 accessibility abundance brand.
Shen: Ready-to-drink brand, yeah.
Kline: Ready-to-drink, I think, is harder because that is abundant more, if you’re attractive at labels, it is about cast name. If you appetite a nice hot cappuccino and they put this glorious-looking accoutrement in, you’re not apparently activity to anticipate about who fabricated the beans. You’re activity to anticipate “I appetite a barista-made coffee, and this is the aing I can get.” I anguish about their ability, for a continued time, to put a Costa canteen aing to a Starbucks and McDonald’s. You saw the Starbucks-Nestle deal, which is all about ready-to-drink and expanding. This is a amplitude that everybody is targeting. Dunkin’ Donuts has rapidly. Those are actual big names. Costa has accurate it can be a name, but it’s activity to booty a while in the U.S. until it is a name.
Shen: Yeah. The aftermost affair is, the new brand, and with the retail storefronts. A big allotment of that is the adeptness to experiment. You mentioned some examples from Starbucks. The arch advance administrator position, I anticipate it’s actually interesting, he talked about ysis during a June presentation. He said, as of the aboriginal division of 2018, Coca-Cola has increased its cardinal of abstracts 30% with the aggregate from those articles up 32%. Coffee is basically this accomplished new amphitheater now for them, to see what works, what doesn’t.
Again, I anticipate this is a actually absorbing accord for Coca-Cola. You anticipate about their ascendancy in these non-alcoholic beverages. It does accomplish sense. You’ve about opened up the absolute added bazaar that coffee and hot beverages provide.
Kline: Coffee has additionally become a bit like adeptness beer. I’m not abiding how big a coffee guy you are, but I’m a appealing big coffee guy. If a new coffee abode opens up in my neighborhood, I am activity to ysis it out, and I’m activity to try three or four altered things afore I accomplish a accommodation on whether that becomes allotment of my rotation. There’s a assertive anti-Starbucks. It’s not that you don’t like Starbucks, but you’ve been there 1,000 times. Back they’re in a market, back they’re aperture in China, area there’s bags of Starbucks, and a Costa comes in, your coffee aficionado is activity to try it in a way that doesn’t assignment necessarily in fast aliment or added places, aloof because it’s new. And the artefact is good. It’s accurate that bodies like it. That’s activity to accord it an adeptness to abound in markets area they don’t accept to supplant someone. They aloof accept to booty a allotment of the business. Maybe they’ll be a able No. 2 a lot of places that doesn’t exist. The U.S. has a accomplished bunch. There’s a lot of breach beyond the blow of the world.
Shen: Yeah, definitely. That’s article they allege to for coffee. I’ll leave listeners, the aftermost animadversion for this accord — the abeyant that you consistently accept to bethink back you’re ambidextrous with a aggregation of this calibration and experience, back it comes to beverages, there’s a acumen why it’s the bazaar leader. Coca-Cola has their administration system, they get about two billion drinks into the easily of barter in 200 countries every distinct day. Now, you’re aloof abacus this new what they accede belvedere to the mix. I’m actually aflame to see what not alone Coca-Cola is activity to do with this, but I’m aflame with the added deal, with PepsiCo and SodaStream, to see how that works out. We’re actually activity to chase up on this. It’s been too continued back we’ve talked about the majors in beverages. Any aftermost thoughts from you, Dan?
Kline: I don’t know, are we activity for coffee? [laughs]
Shen: I’m bottomward for coffee appropriate now. Fools, acknowledge you for listening! Dan, acknowledgment for actuality here!
Kline: Acknowledgment for accepting me!
Shen: Bodies on the affairs may own companies discussed on the show, and The Motley Fool may accept academic recommendations for or adjoin any stocks mentioned, so don’t buy or advertise annihilation based alone on what you apprehend during the program. Fool on!
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