Largest company in Greece moves operations to Switzerland
The company, in which The Coca-Cola Co of the United States has a 23-percent stake, bottles Coke and other produce in 28 countries from Russia to Nigeria. About 95 percent of its shareholders and business activity are outside Greece.
"This is a healthy company that does not want to suffer from Greece's high country risk," said the analyst, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The company's will be primarily quoted on London's LSE.
"A primary listing on Europe's biggest and most liquid stock exchange reflects better the international character of Coca Cola Hellenic's business activities and shareholder base," the company said in its regulatory statement.
"This transaction makes clear business sense," chief executive Dimitris Lois told analysts in a conference call. An overwhelming majority of shareholders have already accepted moving a company which has long complained about Greek taxes.
Analyst Manos Hatzidakis of Beta Securities in Athens said that the move made sense for the firm, which follows Greek dairy group FAGE this month in seeking a low-tax, low-volatility haven for its corporate base - in FAGE's case Luxembourg.
The company, which last year made net profit of 330 million euros on sales of 6.85 billion, has complained of taxes imposed under Greek government austerity measures. A U.S. filing shows it paid about 20 million euros in both 2009 and 2010 for one-off "social responsibility" levies in Greece.