Why Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. Stock Plunged Today

By Steve Symington Markets Fool.com

What:Shares of Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. fell 24% Tuesday after the cola bottler completed its combination with Coca-Cola Iberian Partners S.A.U. and Coca-Cola ErfrischungsgetrnkeGmbH.The new company,dubbed Coca-Cola European Partners plc, began trading Tuesday under the CCE ticker.

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So what: The merger was first proposed late last year, and creates the world's largest independent Coca-Cola bottler based on its pro forma 2015 net sales of roughly 11 billion euros and 2015 EBITDA of 1.8 billion euros.

"This is a very exciting time forCoca-Cola European Partners, asEuropecontinues to represent an outstanding platform for long-term, profitable growth," said Coca-Cola European Partners CEO John Brock. "Coca-Cola European Partnershas the portfolio, the customer relationships, and the innovation, flexibility, scale, and speed needed to capture this opportunity."

Now what: As it stands, Coca-Cola Enterprises shareholders own 48% of the combined company, Coca-Cola Iberian Partners shareholders own 34%, and Coca-Cola -- which owned Coca-ColaErfrischungsgetrnke -- holds claim to the remaining 18%.

Looking forward, assuming Coca-Cola European Partners is able to capitalize on its combined operations, business synergies, and increased scale to seize this enviable growth opportunity in the soda industry, I suspect shares of the leading bottler will have little trouble generating market-beating returns from here.

The article Why Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. Stock Plunged Today originally appeared on Fool.com.

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Steve Symington has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Coca-Cola. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.