The Coca-Cola Co (NYSE:KO) announced it has closed on previously disclosed agreements with two new bottling partners for the granting of new distribution territory.

Great Lakes Coca-Cola Distribution, L.L.C., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reyes Holdings, L.L.C, has officially been granted and formally transitioned territories in the greater Chicago area and Northwest Indiana.

Coca-Cola Beverages Florida, a newly formed independent Coca-Cola bottling company, has officially been granted and formally transitioned territories in Central Florida including Tampa/St. Petersburg, Ft. Myers, Ft. Pierce, Lakeland and Sarasota.

“As we have said, the Coca-Cola System should be a reflection of the communities where we operate and the consumers and customers that we serve,” said Sandy Douglas, President, Coca-Cola North America. “The announcement today with two of our newest bottling partners – Great Lakes Coca-Cola Distribution, L.L.C. and Coca-Cola Beverages Florida – is further evidence of that commitment. As we continue to align our U.S. operations with highly capable partners in order to move our refranchising efforts forward, both bottlers will be instrumental as we implement a more agile, modern, customer-focused beverage partnership model.”

Reyes Holdings is one of the largest global providers of food and beverage distribution services. Its operations span North, Central and South America, as well as Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific. Annually, the company delivers more than 800 million cases of high-quality, well-known beer and food products. Great Lakes Coca-Cola Distribution, L.L.C. will dedicate all of the company’s sales and distribution activities to servicing Coca-Cola brands.

“Today marks a major milestone for Reyes Holdings, uniting our logistics competence with the world’s most iconic and refreshing brand,” said J. Christopher Reyes, Founder and Co-Chairman of Reyes Holdings.

“As a new member of the Coca-Cola family, we look forward to continuing the Company’s commitment to the communities, consumers and customers in the area,” said M. Jude Reyes, Founder and Co-Chairman of Reyes Holdings. “We are dedicated to being the best distributor we can be while contributing back to the communities in which we operate.”

Troy Taylor is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Coca-Cola Beverages Florida. With more than 20 years of business leadership experience, Taylor has significant experience in leading strategic initiatives and transactions for franchise-related businesses, including multiple Coca-Cola-related investments.

“It’s always been my dream to be a Coca-Cola Bottler and today I’m honored to establish a locally-owned and operated bottling operation in the state of Florida,” said Troy Taylor, Chief Executive Officer, Coca-Cola Beverages Florida. “Together with    The Coca-Cola Company we are committed to delivering excellent customer service, bringing moments of refreshment to our customers and building lasting partnerships with our community in the Sunshine State.”

Consistent with prior transactions, in the newly transitioned territories The Coca-Cola Company and these bottlers will work collaboratively to implement key elements of an evolving U.S. operating model, including:

  • More rational and contiguous operating territories
  • A grant of exclusive territory rights and the sale by Coca-Cola Refreshments (CCR) of distribution assets and cold drink equipment
  • An improved, more integrated information technology platform
  • A finished goods model and a new beverage agreement that supports the evolving operating model (Original Source)

Shares of Coca-cola Company closed last Friday at $40.96 . KO has a 1-year high of $45 and a 1-year low of $39.06. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $40.91 and its 200-day moving average is $41.60.

On the ratings front, Coca-cola Company has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report released today, BMO analyst Amit Sharma upgraded KO to Buy, with a price target of $48, which represents a potential upside of 17.2% from where the stock is currently trading. Separately, on April 24, Deutsche Bank’s Bill Schmitz reiterated a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $45.

According to, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Amit Sharma and Bill Schmitz have a total average return of 11.9% and 9.3% respectively. Sharma has a success rate of 62.5% and is ranked #956 out of 3610 analysts, while Schmitz has a success rate of 77.2% and is ranked #593.

The street is mostly Bullish on KO stock. Out of 5 analysts who cover the stock, 5 suggest a Buy rating . The 12-month average price target assigned to the stock is $46.67, which represents a potential upside of 13.9% from where the stock is currently trading.