Charlotte-Based Coca-Cola Bottling to Expand in Kentucky

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (The Charlotte Observer/TNS) -

Coca-Cola Bottling Consolidated, the largest independent Coca-Cola bottler in the U.S., will expand its franchise territory into the Kentucky towns of Paducah and Pikeville.

The Charlotte-based company’s agreement to distribute in the two Kentucky territories — a transaction that’s expected to close in May — is the last phase of a territory expansion announced in April 2013.

As part of the deal, Coca-Cola Bottling agreed to exchange its franchise territory in Jackson, Tenn., for territory currently served by Coca-Cola Refreshments, another Coca-Cola Company affiliate, in Lexington, Ky., and to expand the bottler’s franchise to include Louisville, Ky., and Evansville, Ind.

“We look forward to serving the Paducah and Pikeville communities — including our customers, consumers, and new employees there,” Frank Harrison, Coca-Cola Bottling CEO, said in a statement Tuesday.

As part of Coca-Cola Bottling’s Kentucky deal, the bottler will buy the rights to distribute both Coca-Cola and non-Coca-Cola beverages from Coca-Cola Refreshments.

The Charlotte-based bottler employs about 6,500 workers in 11 states.