Coca-Cola is giving more control to bottlers

Coca-Cola is giving more control to bottlers

The Coca-Cola Co is to hand Florida bottler territory to a newly-formed company as part of a plan to reduce its in-house bottler operations.

The soft drinks firm has agreed a deal with Coca-Cola Bottling Co of Central Florida, which was formed in the wake of Coca-Cola's decision in February to re-franchise some of its Coca-Cola Refreshments territory. Coca-Cola Central Florida will assume responsibility for territories including Tampa/St Petersburg, Ft Myers, Ft Pierce, Lakeland and Sarasota in a deal expected to close next year.

Financial details have not been disclosed.

In April last year, Coca-Cola announced it had signed agreements with five US bottlers, giving them new, expanded territories. The move is part of an initiative by Coca-Cola to return to a franchise model in North America, as opposed to owning its bottlers.

In the past six months, Coca-Cola has handed over bottler territory in Tennessee, Kentucky and Indiana.