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Coca Cola United acquires Laurel Coke plant

This is a press release from Coca Cola United.

LAUREL, Miss. - Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED, Inc. (“UNITED”), headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., announced today that it closed transactions with Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated and The Coca-Cola Company (“The Company”) for the acquisition of 10 new sales and distribution territories throughout the southeastern United States, including Laurel, Miss. UNITED also acquired a production facility in Mobile, Ala.

“Coca-Cola UNITED has a 115-year history of empowering our associates, serving our customers, refreshing our consumers and investing in our communities,” said Susanne Hall, vice president of the West Region for Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED. “Today, as we bring Laurel into the UNITED family, we continue that tradition and look forward to growing our presence in this community.”

“The Laurel Coca-Cola team is excited to become a part of the Coca-Cola UNITED family,” said Chris Dunkley, sales center manager in Laurel. “Coca-Cola has a long-standing presence in Laurel, and our team is now ready to take it to the next level.”

“The City of Laurel welcomes Coca-Cola UNITED to our community. With their tradition of community support and involvement, along with the prospect of economic growth, the city looks forward to continuing our partnership with Laurel Coca-Cola and its new parent company,” said Johnny Magee, Mayor of Laurel.

In addition to Laurel, UNITED also announced that it acquired the following territories: Florence, Mobile, Robertsdale and Leroy in Alabama; Bainbridge, Sylvester and Columbus in Georgia; Ocean Springs in Mississippi; and Panama City in Florida.

“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,” said John H. Sherman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Coca-Cola UNITED. “We’re extremely impressed with the caliber 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.”

More than 920 associates have joined Coca-Cola UNITED as part of today’s acquisitions. In addition, 100 new employees have been added to support UNITED’s commitment to providing dedicated and unparalleled customer service and strong community engagement. UNITED also plans to invest more than $9 million in infrastructure, facility improvements and fleet throughout these new territories.

Today’s closings are the culmination of four years of acquisitions for Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED, which were part of The Coca-Cola Company’s more broadly-based refranchising efforts throughout the United States. The Coca-Cola Company developed its 21st Century Beverage Partnership Model, internally called “System of the Future,” to align bottlers and optimize their capability to better serve customers and maintain strong, local ties across diverse Coca-Cola markets.

Coca-Cola UNITED – the largest privately held Coca-Cola bottler in North America and third largest in the U.S. – now has approximately 10,000 associates, located in 54 sales and distribution centers and nine production facilities throughout seven southeastern states. Its business has more than tripled since 2014, when it had some 2,900 associates located in 18 sales centers and three production facilities. At that time, the company had some 50,000 customers. Today, it has more than 150,000 retail and on premise customers in the states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee.



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