CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated (NASDAQ: COKE), the nation’s largest independent Coca-Cola bottler, today announced it has signed a definitive agreement with The Coca-Cola Company to expand the bottler’s franchise territory to include the Knoxville, TN territory currently served by Coca-Cola Refreshments USA, Inc. (CCR), a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Coca-Cola Company. This agreement represents the second phase of the proposed franchise territory expansion described in the previously-announced Letter of Intent between the Company and The Coca-Cola Company. The Company expects the transaction to close by the end of October 2014.
The Company is continuing to work towards a definitive agreement with The Coca-Cola Company for the remainder of the proposed franchise territory expansion described in the previously-announced Letter of Intent, including Cleveland and Cookeville, TN and Louisville, Lexington, Paducah and Pikeville, KY and Evansville, IN.
Coca-Cola Consolidated Chairman and CEO J. Frank Harrison III said, “We are excited about signing a definitive agreement for another phase of our previously announced transaction with The Coca-Cola Company, expanding our franchise territory. We look forward to serving the Knoxville community – including our customers, consumers, and new employees there.”
The definitive agreement and other agreements to be entered into at closing will provide the Company the exclusive rights to distribute brands owned by The Coca-Cola Company as well as certain other brands not owned by The Coca-Cola Company that are currently being distributed in the Knoxville territory by CCR. The transaction includes the purchase by the Company of distribution assets and certain working capital items from CCR relating to this territory and the purchase of exclusive rights to distribute certain non-Coca-Cola brands in this territory. The transaction also includes the grant by CCR to the Company of exclusive rights to distribute brands owned by The Coca-Cola Company in this territory under a comprehensive beverage agreement to be entered into at closing. Under such agreement, the Company will make a quarterly sub-bottling payment to CCR on a continuing basis after the closing for the grant of such exclusive rights. The Company will not acquire any production assets from CCR and will, with certain exceptions, purchase finished goods from CCR to service customers in this territory.
Closing of the transaction is subject to the parties satisfying certain conditions. There can be no assurances that these conditions will be satisfied or, if not satisfied, waived. The Company will file a Current Report on Form 8-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission regarding the proposed transaction that will be available on the Commission’s website at http://www.sec.gov and on the Company’s website athttp://www.cokeconsolidated.com. For more information about the transaction, including the closing conditions and about the Company’s relationship with The Coca-Cola Company, investors should read the information included in the Company’s Current Report on Form 8-K and the agreements filed as exhibits to such report.
Headquartered in Charlotte, NC, Coca-Cola Consolidated is the nation’s largest independent Coca-Cola bottler with franchise territories in 11 states. The Company’s current major markets include: Charlotte, Raleigh, Wilmington, Greenville, the Triad, and Asheville in North Carolina; Greenville, Columbia, and Charleston in South Carolina; Charleston, Beckley, and Parkersburg in West Virginia; Roanoke and Bristol in VA; Nashville, TN; Columbus and Albany in GA; Mobile, AL; Panama City, FL; and Biloxi, MS.