COCA-COLA UNITED SIGNS LETTER OF INTENT WITH THE COCA-COLA COMPANY AS THE PACE OF TERRITORY REFRANCHISING CONTINUES TO ACCELERATE
Coca-Cola UNITED also to acquire production facilities in Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee as part of National Product Supply System
BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA – Dec. 9, 2015 – Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED, Inc., (“UNITED”), headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, announced today that it has signed a Letter Of Intent (“LOI”) with The Coca-Cola Company to expand distribution territories in Georgia as the pace of refranchising accelerates.
The letter of intent provides that UNITED will assume additional territories in north and central Georgia including Atlanta and the Metro Atlanta area, Athens, Macon, and Rome. Additionally, as part of the National Product Supply System, UNITED will acquire production facilities in College Park and Marietta, Georgia; Montgomery, Alabama; and Cleveland, Tennessee.
Consistent with previous transactions, The Coca-Cola Company and UNITED will work jointly to achieve the benefits of a more rational and contiguous operating territory across the southeast; an improved, more integrated information technology platform; and a new beverage agreement that supports the Coca-Cola System’s evolving U.S. operating model.
Starting with the acquisition of Oxford, Alabama in the first quarter of 2014 (the initial market in the refranchising process), UNITED has acquired new distribution territories throughout the southeast. Chairman and CEO Claude Nielsen said the acquisition of Atlanta brings with it “tremendous opportunity and significant responsibility.”
“The specialness of Coke’s hometown makes it the ideal market to implement our local operating model. We feel privileged to be given the opportunity to serve this market. We also understand and accept the responsibility to perform consistently and provide reliable service to all customers.” Nielsen added, “and our locally focused model will certainly include active community engagement in the city of Atlanta.”
On the occasion of this announcement, Birmingham Mayor William A. Bell stated, “I am very pleased with the news of Coca-Cola UNITED’s continued expansion. This company, founded in Birmingham in 1902, continues to create opportunities and jobs, making a positive impact on our hometown. It is very good to have a local company enjoy this level of growth, which contributes to Birmingham’s current prosperity and dynamic economy.”
“Together with our bottling partners, we are changing the landscape of our U.S. System,” said Sandy Douglas, President, Coca-Cola North America. “Today’s announcement further advances our efforts to balance national scale and local capability, which will help us significantly increase our leadership and enhance our competitive advantage in the U.S. business.”
The letter of intent announced today is subject to the parties reaching definitive agreements. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The transition of the distribution territories and production facilities to UNITED, an NPSS bottler, is anticipated to take place before the end of 2017.
Separately, The Coca-Cola Company and UNITED have also reached a Definitive Agreement governing the transaction announced in September of 2015, in which UNITED will acquire the production facility in New Orleans, Louisiana in March of 2016.
Coca-Cola UNITED and The Coca-Cola Company are committed to working together to implement a smooth transition with minimal disruption for system associates, consumers, customers and communities.
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About Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED, Inc.
Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED, Inc., founded in 1902 and headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, is the third largest bottler of Coca-Cola products in the United States and the second largest privately held Coca-Cola bottler employing more than 4,900 employees. Coca-Cola UNITED currently refreshes customers, consumers and communities in 33 territories across 7 southeastern states with sparkling and still brands for every occasion. Engaged principally in the production, marketing and distribution of Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Sprite, Fanta, Dasani water, POWERADE, vitaminwater and many more under exclusive franchise agreements with The Coca-Cola Company and other soft drink manufacturers.
With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, Coca-Cola UNITED is focused on initiatives that reduce our environmental footprint, support active, healthy living, create a safe, inclusive work environment for our associates, and enhance the economic development of the communities where we live and work. For more information, visit us at www.cocacolaunited.com
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