Draper-based Swire Coca-Cola USA has reached an agreement with soft-drink giant Coca-Cola Co. to take over bottling operations in Colorado.
Coca-Cola has struck preliminary deals to begin handing back more of its U.S. distribution network to independent bottlers, a move that's expected to improve profit margins.
Swire, one of five bottling companies named in the agreement, will assume territories that include the Denver and Colorado Springs markets, which border its existing territories.
"Since 1978, we have worked hand-in-hand with The Coca-Cola Company serving our local customers and supporting the communities where we live and work," Jack Pelo, president and CEO, Swire Coca-Cola USA, said in a statement. "The granting of new territories in Denver and Colorado Springs will increase our population served from 6.2 million to 10.7 million consumers."
Swire Coca-Cola USA has two production facilities, in Salt Lake City and Fruitland, Idaho. They operate 26 sales centers and serve portions of 11 western states. Its existing franchise territory extends from Washington to Arizona, and from California to Nebraska.
Swire's parent company, Swire Pacific, is headquartered in Hong Kong.
The transactions are subject to the parties reaching definitive agreements by the end of 2013, with closings expected during 2014, according to Coca-Cola officials.
Coca-Cola reported its first-quarter results Tuesday, which topped Wall Street expectations as sales volume rose in emerging markets. Shares of Coca-Cola Co. rose nearly 6 percent to $42.37 and touched their highest point since the late 1990s.