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Coca-Cola completes $4.9B Costa acquisition

Coca-Cola Co. on Jan. 3 said it completed its $4.9 billion acquisition of U.K.-based coffee shop chain Costa Ltd. from Whitbread PLC.

Whitbread will receive all proceeds from the deal and will grant Coca-Cola all of Costa's operations in over 30 countries, marking the soft drinks giant's entry into the coffee industry.

The deal was announced in August 2018 and received clearance from China and the EU in November and December, respectively.

Whitbread intends to return the significant majority of net cash proceeds to shareholders. It will also launch a buyback program of up to 18,359,613 shares after the release of its fiscal third-quarter trading update Jan. 17.