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COKE CONSOLIDATED SIGNS LETTER OF INTENT OT ACQUIRE OPERATIONAL CONTROL OF SUNBELT COCA-COLA; WOULD BE SECOND LARGEST COKE BOTTLER IN U.S.

COKE CONSOLIDATED SIGNS LETTER OF INTENT OT ACQUIRE OPERATIONAL CONTROL
 OF SUNBELT COCA-COLA; WOULD BE SECOND LARGEST COKE BOTTLER IN U.S.
 CHARLOTTE, N.C., Nov. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated (NASDAQ-NMS: COKE) today announced it has signed a letter of intent to acquire operational control of Sunbelt Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Inc., which, if consummated, would add substantially to territories it serves in North and South Carolina. Completion of the transaction would make Charlotte-based Coke Consolidated the second largest Coca-Cola bottler in the nation.
 The financial structure of the transaction has not yet been determined and terms of the letter of intent were not revealed. Consummation of the transaction is subject to various conditions including regulatory approval and negotiation of definitive agreements.
 Coca-Cola Consolidated Vice Chairman Frank Harrison, III, said, "Sunbelt's growth over the past several years, the nature and location of its markets and its seasoned workforce make the proposed transaction very attractive. We are very pleased with the prospect for acquiring operational control of these significant Coca-Cola franchises and we look forward to serving many new retail customers and consumers throughout the Carolinas."
 The additional franchise territories represent most of the larger population centers in South Carolina with sales centers in Charleston, Columbia, Greenville and Hilton Head. The completed transaction would also give Coca-Cola Consolidated major new North Carolina franchises in Asheville, Morganton, Fayetteville, Hickory, Boone, Bryson City, Forest City, North Wilkesboro, Plymouth, Wilson and Lumberton.
 Coke Consolidated is currently the nation's fourth largest bottler and Sunbelt the eighth. The combined organization will serve a population of nearly 14 million people in 12 states through roughly 70 production, sales and distribution centers across the Southeast.
 "This represents a continuation of Coca-Cola Consolidated's efforts to expand through internally-generated growth and strategic territorial expansion," Harrison said.
 Coke Consolidated's current major markets include: Charlotte, Greensboro, Raleigh, Winston-Salem, Burlington, Statesville and Salisbury, N.C.; Roanoke, Bristol, Martinsville, Danville and Norton, Va.; Nashville, Murfreesboro, Jackson, Columbia and Paris, Tenn.; Mobile, Ala.; Charleston, Morgantown, Parkersburg, Huntington and Beckley, W.Va.; Columbus and Albany, Ga.; Biloxi and Laurel, Miss., and Panama City. Fla.
 -0- 11/11/91
 /CONTACT: Lauren C. Steele, VP, Corporate Affairs, 704-551-4551/
 (COKE) CO: Coca-Cola Consolidated; Sunbelt Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Inc. ST: North Carolina IN: FOD SU: TNM DF -- CH004 -- 2965 11/11/91 10:47 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 11, 1991
Words:386
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