Coca-Cola to acquire Great Plains Coca-Cola Bottling for US$360M; Great Plains is fifth-largest independent Coca-Cola bottler in U.S., with territories in Oklahoma and Arkansas

OKLAHOMA CITY , October 27, 2011 (press release) – Great Plains Coca-Cola Bottling Company (Great Plains) announced today that it has signed an agreement to be acquired by The Coca-Cola Company for the purchase price of approximately $360 million. Great Plains is the fifth-largest independent Coca-Cola bottler in the United States, with territories in Oklahoma and Arkansas.

“My family has been a proud part of the Coca-Cola System for nearly nine decades and has built Great Plains into one of the most innovative and successful bottlers in the U.S. The reason for our success is simple: From the beginning we have always strived to provide the best quality drinks with the best customer service,” said Robert F. Browne, chairman and chief executive officer, Great Plains. “As I look to the future, I believe this is the right action to ensure the continued success of this business that I love.”

Great Plains has been led by a member of the Browne family since 1922, when Virgil Browne and two investors acquired the franchise rights for the territory. Today, the company operates nine facilities and serves an area with more than three million people. Pending regulatory approval and satisfaction of other customary conditions, the transaction is expected to be completed by the end of the year. Great Plains will become an operating unit within Coca-Cola Refreshments (CCR), a wholly owned subsidiary of The Coca-Cola Company. Browne will assume a role supporting CCR in its ongoing work to improve its product supply and customer service operations.

"Bob and his team have been leaders in our U.S. system," said Steve Cahillane, president and CEO, CCR. "Great Plains is an organization that is driven by a commitment to Continuous Customer Service. It has developed many innovative processes that customers consider best in class, including offering a single source of supply and providing outstanding customer service. CCR can learn a great deal from Great Plains and the success that they have created. We welcome Great Plains’ employees to the CCR family.”

About Great Plains Coca-Cola Bottling Company

Great Plains Coca-Cola Bottling Company is a locally owned bottler operated by the Browne family since 1922 distributing Coca-Cola products in central, northeast Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas. Located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Great Plains operates two production and seven distribution facilities and employs more than 1,200 people. Great Plains prides itself on the focus and service it provides to associates, customers, partners and the community. Great Plains is the fifth largest independent Bottler/Distributor of Coca-Cola products in North America and was voted “Bottler of the Year” in 2007 by Beverage World Magazine.

About The Coca-Cola Company

The Coca-Cola Company is the world’s largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands. Led by Coca-Cola, the world’s most valuable brand, the Company’s portfolio features 15 billion dollar brands including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply and Georgia. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, juices and juice drinks and ready-to-drink teas and coffees. Through the world’s largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy the Company’s beverages at a rate of 1.7 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that reduce our environmental footprint, support active, healthy living, create a safe, inclusive work environment for our associates, and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. For more information about our Company, please visit our website at www.thecoca-colacompany.com.

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