Coke Takes On Starbucks With $5.1 Billion Coffee Deal

Coca-Cola Co. made the largest brand acquisition in its history, saying Friday that it would pay $5.1 for British -shop chain Costa as the soda giant moves further from its soft-drink roots and joins a growing group of consumer-goods companies that are betting big on coffee.

The deal gives Coke a large brick-and-mortar retail presence and puts it in direct competition with Starbucks Corp., which has more than 27,000 cafes around the globe. Costa serves its red-and-white cups of coffee through its roughly 3,800…

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