Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE), Coca-Cola Iberian Partners (CCIP) and Coca-Cola Erfrischungsgetränke (CCEAG) have agreed to form a new company by merging their bottling operations, which will become the world’s largest independent Coca-Cola bottler.
The new company, dubbed Coca-Cola European Partners, will generate $12.6bn in annual revenues.
Based in the UK, Coca-Cola European Partners will have more than 50 bottling plants and close to 27,000 associates.
The new company will serve more than 300 million consumers across 13 countries in Western Europe and will have annual run-rate pre-tax synergies between $350m and $375m within three years of closing.
The Coca-Cola Company CEO and chairman Muhtar Kent said: "With the strong leadership that will be assembled from across the three organisations, Coca-Cola European Partners will be well-positioned to deliver better and more effective service to customers throughout Western Europe and drive profitable growth across multiple beverage categories."
The new company will continue to invest, employ, manufacture and distribute locally to generate significant synergies, including supply chain benefits and operating efficiencies.
It will be 48% owned by CCE while Coca-Cola Iberian Partners and The Coca-Cola Company will own 34% and 18%, respectively.
Coca-Cola Enterprises CEO John Brock said: "We look forward to bringing together our world-class supply chain and sales team with the distinct strengths offered by CCIP and CCEAG to capture additional growth opportunities in each market."
Subject to CCE shareowners approval, receipt of regulatory clearances and other customary conditions, the merger is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2016.
The Coca-Cola Company and Coca-Cola European Partners will sign a new ten-year bottling agreement, which can be renewed for an additional ten-year period and a initial four-year incidence pricing agreement to extend economic current terms.
Image: Official of Coca-Cola Enterprises, Coca-Cola Iberian Partners and Coca-Cola Erfrischungsgetränke. Photo: courtesy of Coca-Cola Enterprises.