Carlsberg and The Coca-Cola Company have been in negotiations since June this year over their future co-operation on production, distribution and sale of Coca-Cola products in Denmark, Norway, Sweden Finland and Iceland, and the partners have now taken the first two steps towards a final agreement. The final agreement is expected to be in place around the end of the year.In Iceland, negotiations have begun regarding a management buy-out of Coca-Cola Vifilfell with a group of local investors, who are interested in continuing the production and sale of Coca-Cola products as a local company.In Finland, the 100 per cent Carlsberg-owned brewery Sinebrychoff and Coca-Cola Juomat have signed a Letter of Intent regarding Sinebrychoff's assumption of production, sale and distribution of Coca-Cola products in Finland. A signed Letter of Intent is required in order for the parties to begin negotiations on overlapping functions.The consolidation of the operations of Sinebrychoff and Coca-Cola Juomat is dependent on the negotiations between Carlsberg and The Coca-Cola Company being successfully completed. The consolidation then will further require the approval of the Finnish competition authorities. Negotiations between Carlsberg and The Coca-Cola Company regarding Coca-Cola Nordic Beverages (CCNB) began after Carlsberg and the Norwegian company Orkla announced plans on May 31 this year to include Orkla's beverage activities in a new company, Carlsberg Breweries.CCNB is a joint venture between Carlsberg (51 per cent) and The Coca-Cola Company (49 per cent), which is responsible for bottling, distribution and sale of Coca-Cola products in the Nordic region.