Coca-Cola United will pick up some of the territories dropped yesterday by Coke Consolidated – as well as a production facility in Alabama – as part of the Coca-Cola system’s continued refranchising efforts in North America.
In total, United will acquire ten new sales and distribution territories. They include areas of southern Alabama including Florence, Leroy, Mobile and Robertsdale, and parts of southwestern Georgia like Bainbridge, Columbus and Sylvester, which were relinquished by Coca-Cola Consolidated as part of its own refranchising shake-up announced yesterday.
Coca-Cola United chief executive officer John Sherman said: “These new territories make for a more contiguous franchise footprint for our company and will enable us to more effectively serve our customers and consumers throughout the seven southeastern states where we operate.
“We’re extremely impressed with the calibre of associates that are joining the United family, many of whom we already know. They are highly motivated and have a work ethic that is focused on serving one another as associates, serving our customers, and serving the communities where we live and work.”
The territories were handed back to The Coca-Cola Company in exchange for company-owned territory in parts of Arkansas, Tennessee and South Carolina.
But it was inevitable that Coca-Cola would pass the territory on to another bottler, as it seeks to get rid of all US territory previously owned by its subsidiary Coca-Cola Refreshments.
Coca-Cola United will also acquire a production facility in Mobile, Alabama that was previously operated by Coke Consolidated.
As part of the transaction, more than 900 staff will be transferred to Coca-Cola United, and 100 new employees will be added to support United’s continuing operations.
United – Coca-Cola’s third largest bottler in the US – will also invest more than $9 million in infrastructure, facility improvements and fleet throughout these new territories.
Coca-Cola North America president Sandy Douglas said: “We have been on a four-year journey with United to transform their territory, and we are incredibly proud of all the great work we’ve accomplished together. It’s exciting to see United take on a bigger role within the system as we strengthen our community ties across the United States. United has lived and celebrated our shared values for more than 100 years as a respected member of the community.”
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