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.

About the Coca-Cola 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 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. 

Contact information:

Public Affairs & Communications
Coca-Cola (Japan) Co., Ltd.
Tel: 03-5574-4805