Great Plains Coca-Cola Bottling Co is the fifth-largest independent Coca-Cola bottler in the US

Great Plains Coca-Cola Bottling Co is the fifth-largest independent Coca-Cola bottler in the US

The Coca-Cola Co has agreed to purchase US bottler Great Plains Coca-Cola Bottling Co for US$360m.

Great Plains Coca-Cola Bottling Co is the fifth-largest independent Coca-Cola drinks bottler in the US, Coca-Cola said yesterday (27 October). Its territories are in Oklahoma and Arkansas.

The privately-held company operates nine facilities and employs around 1,200 workers. Great Plains will become an operating unit within Coca-Cola Refreshments (CCR), a subsidiary of The Coca-Cola Co.

Great Plains Coca-Cola's chairman and CEO, Robert Browne, will assume a role supporting CCR in its "ongoing work to improve its product supply and customer service operations", said Coca-Cola. Pending regulatory approval, the transaction is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Both Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have sought to gain more control over their bottling operations in the US. Last year, Coca-Cola bought Coca-Cola Enterprises' North American bottling operations for $3.4bn, while PepsiCo acquired Pepsi Bottling Group and PepsiAmericas in a $7.8bn deal a year earlier.