Coca-Cola has sold its bottling unit in Canada to Coca-Cola Canada Bottling (CCCBL).

The divestiture comes six months after Coca-Cola signed a letter of intent (LoI) with the Tanenbaum and Bridgeman families to refranchise all company-owned bottling operations in North America to independent franchise owners.

Under the latest agreement, CCCBL has acquired the national network of more than 50 sales and distribution centres and five production facilities that were formerly part of Coca-Cola Refreshments Canada (CCRC).

CCCBL’s president and CEO Todd Parsons said: “With a history that spans more than 120 years, Coca-Cola has deep roots in Canada and we do not take that for granted.

“We’re confident we have the right partners for our business to continue to grow and succeed in the Canadian market.”

“We’re humbled and privileged to be custodians of that legacy as we return Coca-Cola bottling in Canada to its local roots. We’re energised by the opportunity to innovate and grow with our customers, and to continue strengthening our relationships with the communities we serve.”

In addition, CCCBL has retained 5,800 former CCRC associates after assuming bottling and distribution operations across Canada.

CCCBL is a Canadian-based joint venture (JV) company owned by businessman Larry Tanenbaum and Heartland Coca-Cola Bottling Company owner Junior Bridgeman.

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The Coca-Cola Company’s Canadian business unit president Shane Grant said: “We’re extremely excited to work with our new partners at CCCBL to harness the full power of our incredible system.

“With their passion for our brands and commitment to world-class portfolio execution, we’re confident we have the right partners for our business to continue to grow and succeed in the Canadian market.”