The Costa coffee brand, which is widespread in the UK forecourt sector, is being primed for worldwide growth after the Coca-Cola Company announced it has reached an agreement to acquire the company.

The purchase price is £3.9bn and the deal covers all of the operating businesses of Costa.

Costa’s current owner Whitbread will be seeking shareholder approval for the transaction, which is expected to take place by mid-October. The deal is subject to antitrust approvals in the European Union and China, and is expected to close in the first half of 2019.

“Costa gives Coca-Cola new capabilities and expertise in coffee, and our system can create opportunities to grow the Costa brand worldwide,” said Coca-Cola president and CEO James Quincey.

“Hot beverages is one of the few segments of the total beverage landscape where Coca-Cola does not have a global brand. Costa gives us access to this market with a strong coffee platform.”

Costa managing director Dominic Paul commented: “The Costa team and I are extremely excited to be joining The Coca-Cola Company.

“Costa is a fantastic business with committed and passionate associates, a great track record and enormous global potential. Being part of the Coca-Cola system will enable us to grow the business farther and faster. I would like to say a huge thank you to our customers and to everyone in the Costa team who have helped us build the business to this position, and I look forward to the next exciting chapter in Costa’s vision of Inspiring the World to Love Great Coffee.”