Global beverage firm The Coca-Cola Company has reached a definitive agreement to acquire UK-based coffee company Costa from its parent company Whitbread for £3.9bn ($5.1bn).

Established in 1971 in London, UK, Costa is one of the major coffee brands worldwide and operates 4,000 retail outlets, a coffee vending operation, at-home formats and a roastery.

With the acquisition, The Coca-Cola Company intends to establish a strong coffee platform in Europe, the Asia Pacific (APAC), the Middle East and Africa.

The Coca-Cola Company president and CEO James Quincey said: “Costa gives Coca-Cola new capabilities and expertise in coffee, and our system can create opportunities to grow the Costa brand worldwide.

“Costa gives Coca-Cola new capabilities and expertise in coffee.”

“Hot beverages is one of the few segments of the total beverage landscape where Coca-Cola does not have a global brand. Costa gives us access to this market with a strong coffee platform.”

Coca-Cola also intends to make use of Costa’s expertise in the coffee supply chain, including sourcing, vending and distribution.

Completion of the deal is subject to customary closing conditions, including antitrust approvals in the EU and China.

The deal is expected to be completed during the first half of next year. Upon completion, Costa will join Coca-Cola’s coffee portfolio.

Costa managing director Dominic Paul said: “Costa is a fantastic business with committed and passionate associates, a great track record and enormous global potential. Being part of the Coca-Cola system will enable us to grow the business farther and faster.”

Rothschild served as an exclusive financial advisor, while Clifford Chance was legal counsel to Coca-Cola while Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom was the tax counsel in relation to the transaction.