TOKYO, Dec. 14, 2012 – Coca‑Cola Japan President Daniel Sayre today issued the following statement in response to an announcement by four Coca‑Cola bottlers in the Greater Tokyo Region – Coca‑Cola Central Japan, Mikuni Coca‑Cola Bottling, Tokyo Coca‑Cola Bottling and Tone Coca‑Cola Bottling – that their respective Boards of Directors have approved plans to integrate as Coca‑Cola East Japan Bottling Company, Ltd. (“CCEJ”) in 2013.
“Today our Japanese bottling system announced the creation of Coca‑Cola East Japan -- representing a new era of winning in the important Kanto region. The new consolidated bottler will have tremendous scale, operating in some of the most sophisticated and populated cities within the country. CCEJ will comprise 7,000 employees, 10 manufacturing plants and 150 distribution warehouses all focused on leveraging best practices from across four strong bottlers. Working together with The Coca‑Cola Company, CCEJ will provide world-class service to our customers, differentiated products to all consumers and will drive value for all stakeholders. This announcement represents a continued strong commitment by our bottling partners to the continuous evolution of the franchise bottling system and to sustainable growth in the Japan business, particularly in the dynamic Kanto and East regions of Japan.”
The bottling companies announced today that they expect the proposed transaction to close by July 1, 2013, pending shareowner approval at the Ordinary General Meeting of Shareholders of each of the four companies to be held in March 2013. Coca‑Cola East Japan is expected to be a publicly listed company on the Tokyo and Nagoya stock exchanges.
CCEJ will represent approximately 47% of total annual Coca‑Cola system unit case volume in Japan and will be one of The Coca‑Cola Company’s (“TCCC”) top five global bottling partners as measured by annual revenue. CCEJ will retain the franchise rights to produce, distribute and sell The Coca‑Cola Company’s brands in the territories now served by the four individual Kanto-area bottlers.
With this agreement announced today and shares owned in the four bottling companies referenced above, including the acquisition of a 22% stake in the Mikuni bottler separately announced today, TCCC will hold a 33% minority stake in CCEJ. As a result of its ownership stake, TCCC has the right to nominate several board members, including the CEO (Representative Director) of CCEJ.
Coca‑Cola (Japan) Company was established in 1957 as the Japanese subsidiary of The Coca‑Cola Company, the world's largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 50 sparkling and still brands in Japan. Led by Coca‑Cola, the world's most valuable brand, our portfolio features global billion-dollar brands including Coca‑Cola Zero, Georgia, Aquarius and Sokenbicha. We are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, canned coffees, and sports drinks in the Japanese market.
Together with our 12 bottling partners in Japan, Coca‑Cola Japan is focused on initiatives that reduce our environmental footprint, support an active, healthy lifestyle, and engage in reconstruction assistance of the Tohoku area affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake, with an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities. For more information, please visit www.cocacola.co.jp