Coca-Cola is returning to a franchise model for its bottlers

Coca-Cola is returning to a franchise model for its bottlers

The Coca-Cola Co has finalised agreements with two bottling partners over new distribution territories.

The company said yesterday it has handed territories in greater Chicago and northwest Indiana to Great Lakes Coca-Cola Distribution, a newly-formed subsidiary of Reyes Holding. Meanwhile, Coca-Cola Beverages Florida, a newly-formed independent Coca-Cola bottling company, has taken control of territories in Central Florida.

Financial terms of the deals were not disclosed.

Coca-Cola North America's president, Sandy Douglas, said: "As we continue to align our US operations with highly capable partners, both bottlers will be instrumental as we implement a more agile, modern, customer-focused beverage partnership model."

The move is part of an initiative by Coca-Cola to return to a franchise model in North America, as opposed to owning bottlers.

Great Lakes is owned by Reyes Holding, which signed a letter of intent with Coca-Cola last year over territory bottling rights.