Food In Canada

120-year-old Coca-Cola Canada bottling operation returns to Canadian ownership

By Food in Canada staff   

Business Operations Beverages

Coca-Cola Canada Bottling Limited announced October 1 that it has closed on a transaction to acquire Coca-Cola Refreshments Canada (CCRC) from The Coca-Cola Company.  This closing comes six months after The Coca-Cola Company announced a letter of intent with the Tanenbaum and Bridgeman families,  concluding a broader plan to refranchise all Company-owned bottling operations in North America to strong, independent franchise owners.

Coca-Cola Canada Bottling Limited (CCCBL) welcomed 5,800 associates to the family on Saturday, Sept. 29 as it assumed all Coca-Cola bottling and distribution operations across Canada.  This includes a national network of over 50 sales and distribution centres and five production facilities that were formerly part of Coca-Cola Refreshments Canada (CCRC).

CCCBL is a Canadian-based joint venture between businessman and philanthropist Larry Tanenbaum O.C., and Junior Bridgeman, a former NBA player, renowned entrepreneur and owner of Kansas City-based Heartland Coca-Cola Bottling Company.

Taking the helm at CCCBL as it embarks on this new venture are Todd Parsons, President and Chief Executive Officer, and Stephen du Toit, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.  CCCBL will also be led by a Board of Directors that includes Ken Tanenbaum, Executive Chairman, and Rick A. Frazier, Executive Vice Chairman.

Together, Parsons and du Toit bring decades of experience from the consumer-packaged goods industry to CCCBL. Most recently, Parsons was Executive Vice President of Investment Operations at Kilmer Group, and previously served as COO and CFO at specialty frozen baked goods company Give & Go Prepared Foods.

du Toit has been with The Coca-Cola Company since 1999 and has held many positions around the world in Supply Chain management.  He relocated to Canada in 2011 and has held various positions of increasing significance with the Canadian bottling organization including:  VP, Manufacturing; General Manager of the Minute Maid juice business;  SVP, Supply Chain leading overall strategic, tactical and operational initiatives for the Canadian supply chain, and most recently, he has been head of the Business Transformation Office where he led a team engaged in productivity initiatives and this transaction.

“With a history that spans more than 120 years, Coca-Cola has deep roots in Canada –and we do not take that for granted,” said Todd Parsons, President and CEO, Coca-Cola Canada Bottling Limited.  “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 energized by the opportunity to innovate and grow with our customers, and to continue strengthening our relationships with the communities we serve.”

The closing of CCCBL marks the final transaction to complete The Coca-Cola Company’s implementation of the 21st Century Beverage Partnership Model in its flagship North America market.  The bottling system in North America is now comprised of economically aligned partners that can serve major customers while maintaining strong, local ties throughout diverse communities across Canada and the United States.

Financial terms of the CCCBL agreement were not disclosed.

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