Coca-Cola to reshape bottling operations in China

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Beijing, Nov 19 (IANS) The Coca-Cola Company on Saturday announced the reshaping of its bottling operations in China. The announcement was made jointly following an agreement of the Coca-Cola Company and its Bottling Investments Group China, COFCO Coca-Cola Beverages Limited (a subsidiary of COFCO Corporation), and Swire Beverage Holdings Limited, Xinhua news agency reported. As a result, Coca-Cola's bottling operations in China will be concentrated in its two franchise partners, COFCO and Swire. COFCO will own and operate 18 bottling plants, while Swire will own and operate 17. "Today's announcement marks our refocus on core strengths of building great brands and leading a strong, global franchise system," said Muhtar Kent, Chairman and CEO of the Coca-Cola Company. By refranchising all company-owned bottling operations in China to local partners, Coca-Cola aims to position these companies to leverage greater efficiency throughout China to invest for growth. "China's long and stable economic growth provides great opportunity for sustainable development of the beverages industry," said Zhao Shuanglian, Chairman of COFCO Corporation.
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