The Coca-Cola Co aims to complete US bottler refranchising next year

The Coca-Cola Co aims to complete US bottler refranchising next year

The Coca-Cola Co has confirmed further progress in its bottler refranchising scheme in the US.

The company said today that it had anounced a letter of intent to refranchise territories to Coca-Cola Bottling Co Consolidated. The soft drinks firm expects to refranchise most of the Memphis, Tennessee market unit to Consolidated.

This area includes portions of Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas, including Little Rock. The company said that Consolidated also expects to acquire production facilities in Memphis and West Memphis.

Seperately, Consolidated has signed a letter of intent for a "small territory" owned by Coca-Cola Co that is centered on Louisa, Kentucky, with operations that span into West Virginia.

Meanwhile, a number of facilities and territories in the south-east will be exchanged to create more contiguous territories. Companies involved include Consolidated, fellow bottler Coca-Cola Bottling Company United and the Coca-Cola Refreshments unit of Coca-Cola Co.

Agreements include: 

  • Birmingham, Alabama-based United will acquire Consolidated's deep south territory, which spans parts of Georgia, Alabama, Florida and Mississippi. This territory includes nine sales centres, plus a production facility
  • United will acquire Consolidated's Tennessee and Alabama territory that is serviced from its Florence sales centre, along with Consolidated's Panama City, Florida territory
  • Consolidated will acquire United-owned territories in South Carolina around the cities of Bluffton and Spartanburg. 

Coca-Cola first announced plans to return to a franchise model, instead of owning its bottlers, in 2013. The company plans to refranchise all North American territories by the end of 2017.

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