Coca-Cola Announces Letters Of Intent With Two New Bottling Partners

The Coca-Cola Co. announced that it had signed letters of intent for the granting of territories in the greater Chicago, Ill. area to J. Christopher and M. Jude Reyes of Reyes Holdings, L.L.C., and in Central Florida - including Tampa/St. Petersburg - to Troy Taylor, who will be the chairman and chief executive officer of the new Florida bottler.

The two new transactions announced are subject to the parties reaching definitive agreements during 2014. The parties are committed to working together to implement a smooth transition with minimal disruption for customers, consumers and System associates. Financial terms were not disclosed.

"Our 21st century beverage partnership model underscores the strength of our franchise System," said Muhtar Kent, chairman and chief executive officer, The Coca-Cola Co., in a prepared statement. "With the addition of these two partners we continue to transform our U.S. business and move closer to achieving our 2020 Vision."

"The Reyes family has been tremendously successful in helping drive strong brands in mature markets, and they will be invaluable to our System," said Sandy Douglas, group president, Coca-Cola North America. "We are proud to be new members of the Coca-Cola family," said J. Christopher Reyes, founder and co-chairman of Reyes Holdings.  "We intend to use our distribution experience to ensure that the refreshing taste of Coca-Cola is within 'an arm's reach of desire' for thirsty people throughout the Chicago area."

Troy Taylor will be the chairman and chief executive officer of the new bottling company that will serve central Florida, including Tampa/St. Petersburg. With more than 20 years of business leadership experience, Taylor has significant knowledge in leading strategic initiatives and transactions for franchise-related businesses, including multiple Coca-Cola-related investments.

"Troy Taylor has been a trusted advisor to The Coca-Cola Co. on critical strategic initiatives for more than a decade," said Douglas.  "He is well-known and respected by our system, and we are pleased to welcome him as a new bottling partner."

"I have long believed that Coca-Cola serves up moments of happiness and I am excited to join the Coca-Cola family. This new arrangement expands on an already successful, long-standing relationship I have with the company," said Taylor.  "Together we are committed to delivering excellent service to customers and refreshing experiences to consumers in the sunshine state."

"As we have said, the Coca-Cola system should be a reflection of the communities where we operate and the consumers and customers that we serve," said Douglas.  "Partnering with these two top-notch ownership groups is further evidence of this commitment," said Douglas.

"Coca-Cola has always been a leader in giving back to the communities where it does business," said M. Jude Reyes, founder and co-chairman of Reyes Holdings. "As a new member of the Coca-Cola family, we share those values and are dedicated to being the best distributor we can be while contributing back to the communities in which we operate."

In April 2013, The Coca-Cola Co. announced that it had signed Letters of Intent with five U.S. bottlers which committed to creating a stronger U.S. business model through the granting of new, expanded territories. The five bottlers are Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated, Coca-Cola Bottling Company United Inc., Swire Coca-Cola USA, Coca-Cola Bottling Co. High Country and Corinth Coca-Cola Bottling Works, Inc.

The company is very encouraged by the transition of High Country, which closed at the end of 2013.  Looking ahead, the company is aligned with the other four bottlers announced in 2013.  It is expected that they will reach definitive agreements shortly and those transactions will begin closing later this year.

In all of the newly granted territories, the new bottlers and The Coca-Cola Co. will work collaboratively to implement key elements of their evolving U.S. operating model, including:

  • A grant of exclusive territory rights and the sale by Coca-Cola Refreshments (CCR) of distribution assets and cold drink equipment
  • A finished goods model under which production assets will remain with CCR, which would facilitate future implementation of a national product supply system
  • An improved, more integrated information technology platform
  • A new beverage agreement that supports the evolving operating model

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