With Coke and Pepsi in the process of digesting their biggest bottlers in North America, what about the smaller ones?
AJC reporter Jeremiah McWilliams asks if those companies are next up for the merger and acquisition machine. The answer: It doesn’t look like it on a large scale.
In the wake of their respective multi-billion dollar deals, both Coca-Cola and PepsiCo say they have enough on their plates and aren’t eager to encourage smaller bottlers to sell out, McWilliams reports.
But both say they wouldn’t turn down the right deals.
“We are 110 percent focused on integrating (bottler Coca-Cola Enterprises) into our operations,” Coke’s chief financial officer Gary Fayard said recently. “It’s more than most humans can handle. It’s a huge project.”
When asked if Coke would actively seek sellers or would be a willing buyer, Fayard said the company will evaluate potential deals on a case-by-case basis.
Tom Greco, chief commercial officer of Pepsi Beverages Company, said PepsiCo is not really looking to consolidate other bottlers.
“We’ve obviously got our hands full,” he said last week. “If there’s an interested seller, we’d be an interested buyer. But I wouldn’t say it’s a priority.”
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