The world's biggest soda maker said it had
signed two letters of intent with independent bottlers but did
not disclose the financial terms. For the deals to take effect,
the parties must reach definitive agreements this year.
Coke was expected to announce refranchising news ahead of Chief
Executive Officer Muhtar Kent's presentation on Friday at the
Consumer Analyst Group of New York conference in Boca Raton,
Several years ago, Coke and arch rival PepsiCo bought their
North American bottlers to streamline decision-making and cut
While the two companies have traditionally moved together on
major changes, they are currently out of step. Coke has been
open about its plan to ultimately franchise its North American
bottler, while PepsiCo has not.
In April, Coca-Cola said it had signed letters of intent with
five other U.S. bottlers.
(Reporting by Lisa Baertlein and
Martinne Geller in Boca Raton, Florida; editing by Lisa Von Ahn)
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