TOKYO, April 26, 2016 – Coca‑Cola (Japan) Co., Ltd. today issued the following statement in response to an announcement that the two largest independent Coca‑Cola bottlers in Japan – Coca‑Cola West Co., Ltd. and Coca‑Cola East Japan Co., Ltd. – have signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding to enter into discussions regarding an intended integration of the two companies.
Tim Brett, President and Representative Director, Coca‑Cola (Japan) Co., Ltd. said, “The Coca‑Cola Company and Coca‑Cola Japan fully support this initiative by our two largest local bottling partners. If successful, this consolidation would allow the Coca‑Cola system in Japan to be even better positioned to realize future growth opportunities, and drive effectiveness, efficiency and speed to market. The combined entity would become the third-largest Coca‑Cola bottling partner worldwide measured in sales revenue, underlining the importance of Japan for the global Coca‑Cola system.”
As the franchisor of Coca‑Cola brands in Japan, The Coca‑Cola Company is a co-signer of the memorandum of understanding, and will continue to support the Coca‑Cola West and Coca‑Cola East Japan leadership as business integration discussions progress.
The Coca‑Cola system in Japan is comprised of Coca‑Cola (Japan) Co., Ltd., which supplies concentrates, plans and develops new products as the Japanese subsidiary of The Coca‑Cola Company, the world’s largest soft drinks manufacturer, along with six local bottling partners that manufacture and sell products nationwide, and four system affiliated companies. The Coca‑Cola system refreshes Japanese consumers through more than 50 sparkling and still beverage brands. Led by “Coca‑Cola”, one of the world’s most valuable and recognizable brands, our portfolio features a range of global brands such as “Coca‑Cola Zero”, “Coca‑Cola Life”, “Fanta”, and “Sprite”, in addition to brands originally developed for the Japanese market including “Georgia”, “Aquarius”, “I LOHAS”, and “Ayataka”. We are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, sports drinks, and canned coffee in Japan.
Coca‑Cola’s franchise system in Japan has been continuously evolving over the last decade, first with the creation of Coca‑Cola West, a combination over time of the Kita Kyushu, Sanyo, Mikasa, Kinki and Minami Kyushu bottlers. In 2013, four bottlers in the Kanto and Tokai regions – Tone, Tokyo, Mikuni and Central Japan – merged to create Coca‑Cola East Japan. In 2015, Coca‑Cola East Japan acquired Sendai Coca‑Cola Bottling Co. Ltd. and Coca‑Cola West acquired Shikoku Coca‑Cola Bottling Co. Ltd. Through this evolution, the system today includes six independent franchise partners with the largest, Coca‑Cola East Japan and Coca‑Cola West, representing more than 85 percent of Coca‑Cola’s beverage volume in Japan. Other local bottlers include: Hokkaido Coca‑Cola Bottling Co., Ltd., Hokuriku Coca‑Cola Bottling Co., Ltd., Michinoku Coca‑Cola Bottling Co., Ltd., and Okinawa Coca‑Cola Bottling Co., Ltd.
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Coca‑Cola (Japan) Co., Ltd.