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Issue Date: Vol. 51, No. 12, December 2011, Posted On: 11/9/2011

Coca-Cola Acquires Great Plains Bottler For $360M

Emily Jed
Coca-Cola Co., Great Plains Coca-Cola Bottling Co., the fifth-largest independent Coke bottler, Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc., Virgil Browne, Coke bottlers

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK -- Coca-Cola Co. has agreed to purchase Great Plains Coca-Cola Bottling Co. for $360 million. Great Plains is the fifth-largest independent Coca-Cola bottler in the U.S., with territories in Oklahoma and Arkansas.

Great Plains has been operated the Browne family since 1922, when Virgil Browne and two investors acquired the franchise rights for the territory. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, OK, the company now operates nine facilities and employs more than 1,200 people.

The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year. Great Plains will become an operating unit of Coca-Cola Refreshments, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Coca-Cola Co.

Last year, Atlanta-based Coca-Cola completed the acquisition of the North American operations of its biggest bottler, Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc., in a deal valued at $12.3 billion, in an effort to cut costs and boost efficiencies. Rival PepsiCo Inc. acquired its two largest bottlers last year for $7.8 billion.

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