COCA-COLA TO ACQUIRE COSTA COFFEE
US beverage giant Coca-Cola has agreed to pay $5.1 billion to buy Costa Coffee chain from the UK leisure group Whitbread. Costa has nearly 4,000 stores across 32 countries. The deal gives Coke a strong coffee platform in parts of Europe, the Asia-Pacific, West Asia and Africa. It also puts Coca-Cola in direct competition with Starbucks and other global coffee brands. Earlier this year, Nestlé and Starbucks struck a $7.2 billion global coffee alliance.