ATLANTA – Oct. 21, 2015 – The Coca‑Cola Company today announced it has signed letters of intent with three U.S. bottlers to grant expanded distribution territories in seven states as part of its ongoing efforts to refranchise half of Company-owned U.S. bottler-delivered volume by the end of 2017.
In each territory, The Coca‑Cola Company will grant exclusive rights to these bottlers for the sale and distribution of bottler-delivered Coca‑Cola beverages. In addition, Coca‑Cola Refreshments, the Company-owned U.S. bottler, will sell its sales and distribution assets to the expanding local bottling partner. New letters of intent provide that:
- Coca‑Cola Beverages Florida, based in Tampa, will assume additional territory in north Florida including Brevard, Daytona, Jacksonville, Gainesville and Orlando.
- Great Lakes Coca‑Cola Distribution, L.L.C., based in Chicago, will assume additional territory including the state of Michigan, the majority of Wisconsin including Milwaukee, southern Minnesota including Minneapolis and portions of northeast Iowa and northern Illinois adjacent to its Chicago territory.
- Atlantic Coca‑Cola Bottling Company, based in Atlantic, Iowa, will assume new territory in southeastern Iowa, including Cedar Rapids and Quad Cities, western Illinois and northeastern Missouri.
Consistent with previous transactions, The Coca‑Cola Company and these bottlers will work collaboratively to benefit from more rational and contiguous operating territories across the United States; an improved, more integrated information technology platform across bottlers; and a new beverage agreement that supports the Coca‑Cola system’s evolving U.S. operating model.
“We continue the evolution of our U.S. operations as two of our newest partners, Great Lakes Coca‑Cola and Coca‑Cola Beverages Florida, are granted additional territory, and Atlantic
Coca‑Cola expands its footprint,” said Sandy Douglas, President, Coca‑Cola North America. “We are confident that we are building a model that is modern, agile and consumer and customer focused. The progress announced today continues our efforts to balance national scale and local capability, and will help us increase our leadership and competitive advantage in the U.S. business.”
Additionally, The Coca‑Cola Company today announced that it has reached definitive agreements with Coca‑Cola Bottling Company United, Swire Coca‑Cola USA, Coca‑Cola Bottling Company High Country, and The Ozarks Coca‑Cola Bottling Company for territories announced during April and May 2015, and with Coca‑Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated for several of the territories announced at that time as well. Some of these transactions are expected to close in 2015 and others in 2016.
In total, and including the letters of intent announced today, territories transitioned to-date or included in agreements represent more than 30% of total U.S. bottle-delivered volume.
The letters of intent announced today are subject to the parties reaching definitive agreements. The parties are committed to working together to implement a smooth transition with minimal disruption for customers, consumers and system associates. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The Coca‑Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is the world's largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands. Led by Coca‑Cola, one of the world's most valuable and recognizable brands, our Company's portfolio features 20 billion-dollar brands including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca‑Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply, Georgia and Del Valle. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, ready-to-drink coffees, and juices and juice drinks. Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy our beverages at a rate of 1.9 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that reduce our environmental footprint, support active, healthy living, create a safe, inclusive work environment for our associates, and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. Together with our bottling partners, we rank among the world's top 10 private employers with more than 700,000 system associates. For more information, visit www.coca-colacompany.com, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/CocaColaCo or find us on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/the-coca-cola-company.