Independent Coca-Cola bottler bought by main beverage company

Posted: 2 January 2013 | Sacramento Business Journal | No comments yet

Sacramento Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Inc., has been acquired by The Coca-Cola Co…

Sacramento Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Inc., the sixth-largest independent Coke bottler in the United States, has been acquired by The Coca-Cola Co.

Coca-Cola BottleTerms of the deal with the world’s largest beverage company (NYSE: KO) were undisclosed.

The Sacramento bottling company was started in 1927 when Nathan M. Sellers acquired the rights to sell Coca-Cola in most of Northern California.

Sacramento Coca-Cola distributes Coke products in all or part of Sacramento, Yolo, Solano, Placer, El Dorado, Amador, Stanislaus, Sutter and Tuolumne counties, according to a news release from the company.

“We are proud of our 85-year legacy of service to the community and have come to the decision that the time is right to transition the business to The Coca-Cola Co.,” Rob Siebers, president and CEO of Sacramento Coca-Cola Bottling Co., said in a news release. “We believe this is the right action to ensure the continued success of Coca-Cola in Northern California.”

Sacramento Coca-Coca Bottling Co. had 467 employees, including 60 in Modesto. The rest work in Sacramento at the company’s production facility at 2200 Stockton Boulevard and its distribution center on Gateway Park Boulevard, and in West Sacramento at sister company, Golden Gate Beverage Co. Inc.

Golden Gate, which was included in the acquisition, is a co-packer that produces carbonated soft drinks for other companies that distribute them.

“(The Sellers family) has an 85-year legacy and service to this community and they just decided that the time was right to sell,” said Bob Brown, former executive vice president and chief financial officer for Sacramento Coca-Cola Bottling Co. “We’ve got an uncertain economy. They thought it might be time for a change.”

Brown, who is consulting with Coca-Cola Refreshments during the transition, said the acquisition is good for the local operation.

“I think, really, by having a larger organization and the ownership of this company, that prepares this company for greater growth into the future,” he said. “Coca-Cola Refreshments brings a lot of resources to the table.”

Coca-Cola Refreshments handles merchandising, production and sales for its parent, The Coca-Cola Co.

Corby Casler, director of communications for CCR, said she “wouldn’t be surprised” to see the local operation increase its market share and improve service to customers.

The company will be assessing the local operations for a couple of months, she said, adding that no immediate personnel or other changes are expected.

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