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The American Bottling Company Acquires Cotton Club Bottling Co.

DARIEN, Ill., Nov. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Bottling Company announced it has purchased all of the outstanding stock of Cotton Club Bottling Co., headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio. "This initiative is part of our strategy to strengthen and consolidate the independent bottling system (IBS) and enhance the value of our business overall," said Richard Beardon, president and chief operating officer of The American Bottling Company. The closing of the transaction was effective October 30. By agreement, the purchase price is not being disclosed.

Cotton Club serves regions contiguous to and within The American Bottling Company's existing distribution territory. "Cotton Club provides significant synergies within our current system, and strengthens our presence in northeastern Ohio while offering new opportunities in Pennsylvania. We are extremely pleased with the transaction," Beardon said.

Founded in 1901, Cotton Club Bottling Co. began as a local soft drink producer and distributor. Now a well-known bottler of franchise brands and beverages under its own label, the company employs 361 people full-time. Its marketing area is served through a network of seven company-operated and independent distribution centers in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The senior management of Cotton Club will continue to work with the company and assist in the consolidation of the two businesses. "We expect Cotton Club's long tradition of excellent customer and supplier relationships to be enhanced through our new alliance with The American Bottling Company," said Richard McGee, vice president of sales and marketing for Cotton Club.

Cotton Club's franchise brands include 7 UP, Schweppes, Canada Dry, A&W, Sunkist, Squirt, Hires, Crush, Vernors, Country Time, Crystal Light, Hershey's, Royal Crown Cola, Diet Rite and Arizona. The company also has a range of proprietary products, including "Less Sweet" Ginger Ale, 50/50, Cherry Strawberry, Cherikee Red, and Danish Creme. Cotton Club sells approximately 7 million cases of soft drinks per year with about 75% of its sales attributed to national brands.

The American Bottling Company is a leading independent bottler and distributor of carbonated soft drinks and New Age beverages. It is also one of the largest private label soft drink companies in the nation. In addition to its Darien, Illinois headquarters, the company has sales, operations and distribution facilities in 67 communities in 15 Midwestern states, serving more than 57 million consumers. The company is jointly owned by Cadbury Schweppes plc of London and The Carlyle Group of Washington, DC.
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Publication:PR Newswire
Geographic Code:1U3OH
Date:Nov 4, 1998
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