Coca-Cola Bottling Ltd. to acquire Coca-Cola Refreshments Canada

Coca-Cola Canada Bottling Limited (CCCBL) has concluded a transaction to acquire Coca-Cola Refreshments Canada (CCRC) from The Coca-Cola Company.

Coca-Cola Canada Bottling Limited takes on 5,800 employees as it assumes all Coca-Cola bottling and distribution operations across Canada. This includes a national network of over 50 sales and distribution centres and five production facilities that were formerly part of Coca-Cola Refreshments Canada.

CCCBL is a Canadian-based joint venture between businessman and philanthropist Larry Tanenbaum and Junior Bridgeman, a former NBA player and owner of Kansas City-based Heartland Coca-Cola Bottling Company.

The new owners say they plan to double the business, in large part by adding milk, juice, sports drinks, coffee, tea and bottled water to the Coca-Cola product mix. CCBL executive chair Ken Tanenbaum pointed out that currently the company sells only one of the eight beverages the average consumer drinks daily.

With consumer preferences shifting strongly in favour of sugar-free beverages, Coca-Cola has successfully manoeuvred into new, sugar-free product lines; currently 19 of its top 21 brands are sugar-free.

The company has also invested $85 million in a Peterborough, ON dairy location that will produce fairlife ultrafilterd, a lactose-free milk with more protein and less sugar than traditional milk.

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