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Coca-Cola Amatil denies pursuing bid for Kirin's Lion Dairy & Drinks

Coca-Cola Amatil Ltd. on March 15 dismissed reports suggesting that the company is pursuing a bid to acquire Kirin Holdings Co. Ltd.'s Lion Dairy & Drinks Pty Ltd., formerly National Foods Ltd.

"Coca-Cola Amatil is not pursuing a bid for the LDD portfolio. As previously stated at Coca-Cola Amatil's full-year results presentation in February 2019, the Company is comfortable with, and remains focused on, its current outstanding portfolio of beverages," the Australian bottler of Coca-Cola Co. products said.

The Australian Financial Review reported March 15 that the bottler is working with consumer goods company Freedom Foods with an eye to splitting up the portfolio.

Kirin placed the unit under strategic review in September 2018 after it reported lower profit and revenue in the first half of 2018. The Japanese beverage-maker subsequently decided to sell the business in October 2018.

Bloomberg News reported in October 2018 that Melbourne, Australia-based Lion Dairy & Drinks could draw interest from Coca-Cola Amatil, China's Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group Co. Ltd. and Canada's Saputo Inc. Representatives for Kirin, Saputo and Coca-Cola Amatil declined to comment at the time.