Coca-Cola bottler merger talks continue in Japan, despite conclusion claim
Coca-Cola bottlers around the world have been looking to consolidate in recent months
Coca-Cola East Japan and Coca-Cola West have moved to calm reports claiming that their merger has completed successfully.
The two Japanese Coca-Cola bottlers announced in April that they had opened discussions over a "business integration". A memorandum of understanding was signed by the two at the time, in the hope that talks would secure an "equal partnership".
In an exclusive news story today, Nikkei Asian Review claimed that a deal has been struck, with Coca-Cola West president Tamio Yoshimatsu set to lead the new company. No sources were cited in the article.
In two subsequent statements, both companies said that talks were ongoing. "We are in discussions regarding a potential integration but have not reached a final agreement and have made no further announcements," read both statements.
"As such, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time. Whenever any decisions are made that require disclosure, we would make immediate announcements accordingly."
Should the talks conclude successfully, the merged-entity would account for around 85% of Coca-Cola branded volumes in Japan, and would become the second-largest global bottler in the Coca-Cola system – behind Coca-Cola European Partners – with annual sales of about US$10bn.
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