Czech cola-maker Kofola’s shares slump 21 pct after shareholder’s discount sale

Czech cola-maker Kofola Ceskoslovensko’s shares tumbled to a record low on Wednesday after its largest minority shareholder sold around 40 percent of its stake at a 26 percent discount.

CED, part of Poland-based private equity firm Enterprise Investors, has been considering the sale of its entire 21 percent stake since May, looking to cash out on its decade-long investment in the revamped Communist-era brand.

It announced on Tuesday it would sell a smaller parcel of shares and on Wednesday placed an 8.5 percent stake in an advanced book building process at a price of 270 crowns a share.

The sale raised 514.4 million crowns (19.91 million euros) ($23.02 million) but the price was well below Tuesday’s closing price of 364 crowns, pushing shares down sharply.

At 1055 GMT, shares traded at 288 crowns, down 20.9 percent and cutting the firm’s market capitalisation to 6.42 billion crowns ($287.30 million).

The sale reduced CED’s stake to 12.4 percent and boosted Kofola’s free float to 14.6 percent.

Kofola is 68 percent controlled by the Greek-Czech Samaras family who resurrected the cola brand Kofola in the 1990s. Kofola has since expanded around central Europe with juices, water and other drinks.

The company has struggled to gain a stronghold in Poland and is weighing an exit from the region’s biggest consumer market.

CED bought into Kofola by buying a 42.5 percent stake in 2008 for 480 million zlotys, approximately 140 million euros then. ($1 = 22.3460 Czech crowns) (1 euro = 25.8364 Czech crowns)

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