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 exchange the bottler’s franchise territory in Jackson, TN for territory currently served by Coca-Cola Refreshments USA, Inc. (CCR), a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Coca-Cola Company, in Lexington, KY. This agreement represents an additional phase of the proposed franchise territory expansion and realignment described in the previously-announced Letter of Intent between the Company and The Coca-Cola Company. The Company expects the exchange transaction to close in the first half of 2015.
The Company is continuing to work toward definitive agreements with The Coca-Cola Company for the remainder of the proposed franchise territory expansion and realignment, including territories currently served by CCR in Cleveland and Cookeville, TN, Louisville, 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. We look forward to serving the Lexington community – including our customers, consumers, and new employees there.”
The definitive agreement and other agreements to be entered into at closing will provide for the Company to receive CCR’s existing rights in the Lexington, KY territory 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 Lexington, KY territory by CCR. Such agreements will also provide for the Company to transfer to CCR all of the Company’s existing rights in the Jackson, TN territory to distribute brands owned by The Coca-Cola Company, as well as rights to other brands not owned by The Coca-Cola Company that are currently being distributed in the Jackson, TN territory. The transaction also includes the exchange, by the Company and CCR, of certain distribution assets and working capital items in the Company’s Jackson, TN territory for comparable items in CCR’s Lexington, KY 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 at http://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, Johnson City and Morristown in TN; Columbus and Albany in GA; Mobile, AL; Panama City, FL; and Biloxi, MS.