TOKYO, Sept. 30, 2016 – Coca-Cola (Japan) Co., Ltd. (head office: Shibuya-ku, Tokyo; representative director and president: Tim Brett; “CCJC”) today issued the following statement in response to an announcement by Coca-Cola West Co., Ltd. (head office: Fukuoka City, Fukuoka Prefecture; “CCW”) and Coca-Cola East Japan Co., Ltd. (head office: Minato-ku, Tokyo; “CCEJ”) that they have reached a definitive agreement to combine their bottling operations.

“The Coca-Cola Company and Coca-Cola Japan fully support today’s announcement by the two biggest bottlers in Japan,” said Tim Brett, President and Representative Director, Coca-Cola (Japan) Co., Ltd.  “This proposed consolidation will enhance our system’s competitive position and ensure we are able to react faster to ongoing changes in the local market and to better serve our customers and consumers. For nearly 60 years, our local bottling system has been evolving to meet the unique needs of the Japanese market and this latest consolidation will ensure we are even better positioned to realize future growth opportunities, and drive effectiveness, efficiency and speed.

“Under Tamio Yoshimatsu’s proposed leadership, we are confident the new company will take advantage of the global and local talent within both CCEJ and CCW to build an outstanding leadership team with the right business and cultural experience to win and grow in an increasingly complex Japanese marketplace,” Brett said. “Yoshimatsu-san is one of the most experienced Coca-Cola bottlers in the world with more than 45 years of leadership experience. He has participated in multiple successful consolidations of the
Coca-Cola bottling system in Japan and has deep experience in leading a significant public company in Japan. We also are excited that Vikas Tiku will lead the integration and transformation efforts of the new bottler. Vikas’ more than 25 years of experience in the global consumer goods industry spanning Asia, Australia, Africa and the U.S., as well as his successful six-year term as Executive Vice President and CFO of CCJC, makes him uniquely qualified for this new important role. 

“I also would like to recognize the leadership of CCEJ President and Representative Director Calin Dragan both in the merger process and for making CCEJ what it is today.  It is thanks to the strong spirit of partnership from both Calin and Yoshimatsu-san that we have reached this historic agreement. Their leadership has generated much of the momentum and excitement we see in our Japan business today, and we look forward to working with the newly combined company in the next phase of our system’s evolution,” Brett concluded.

About the Coca-Cola Japan System

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 which 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. As initiatives to support sustainable business activities, the Coca-Cola system is focused on reducing its environmental impact, creating a safe, and inclusive work environment for our associates, and enhancing the economic development of local communities where we operate.

Coca-Cola’s franchise system in Japan has been continuously evolving over the last decade, first with the creation of Coca-Cola West Co.,Ltd., a combination over time of the Kita Kyushu Coca-Cola Bottling Co., Ltd., Sanyo Coca-Cola Bottling Co., Ltd., Mikasa Coca-Cola Bottling Co., Ltd., Kinki Coca-Cola Bottling Co., Ltd., and Minami Kyushu Coca-Cola Co.Ltd.,.  In 2013, four bottlers in the Kanto and Tokai regions – Tone Coca-Cola Bottling Co., Ltd., Tokyo Coca-Cola Bottling Co., Ltd., Mikuni Coca-Cola Bottling Co., Ltd., and Coca-Cola Central Japan Co., Ltd. – merged to create Coca-Cola East Japan Co., Ltd.  In 2015, Coca-Cola East Japan Co., Ltd. acquired Sendai Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Ltd. and Coca-Cola West Co., Ltd. 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 approximately 86 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.