Coca-Cola manufacturing operations in Indiana switching hands

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Coca-Cola manufacturing plants in Indianapolis and the Indiana city of Portland—and Coca-Cola distribution in a large part of the state—will soon be under the control of a different company.

Charlotte, North Carolina-based Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated, an independent bottling company, has signed agreements to purchase the two Indiana plants, plus one in Cincinnati, from Coca-Cola Refreshments USA Inc.

Coca-Cola Refreshments is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Coca-Cola Co., which is based in Atlanta. Coca-Cola Bottling Co., which describes itself as the largest independent Coca-Cola bottler in the country, makes, sells and distributes products in 15 states.

The two companies have also reached agreements for Coca-Cola Bottling to take over distribution from Coca-Cola Refreshments in certain territories in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. Those territories include the Indiana cities of Indianapolis, Bloomington, Terre Haute, South Bend, Fort Wayne, Lafayette and Anderson; as well as Cincinnati, Columbus and Dayton in Ohio; and Louisa, Kentucky.

The Coca-Cola manufacturing and distribution plant in Indianapolis is at 5000 W. 25th St., near the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Both the plant acquisitions and the distribution transfers are expected to begin this fall and be complete in fall 2017.

Under the distribution agreement, Coca-Cola Bottling will gain the exclusive rights to distribute Coca-Cola brand beverages, as well as certain other non-Coca-Cola brands that are currently distributed in these territories by Coca-Cola Refreshments.

Financial terms were not disclosed. IBJ was unable to reach Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Wednesday morning for more details on the transaction.

In recent years, Coca-Cola Bottling has acquired a number of distribution territories and bottling plants from The Coca-Cola Co. In 2015, Coca-Cola Bottling acquired the Kentucky market—a territory that includes the cities of Evansville and Lexington, Louisville, Paducah and Pikeville, Kentucky; and a portion of southeastern Illinois.

The moves are part of a larger strategy by The Coca-Cola Co. to refranchise all of its North American territories by the end of next year.




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