The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Coca-Cola breaks stake bottleneck

New Delhi, Feb. 27: Coca-Cola India today announced the completion of the divestment of 49 per cent of the equity in its downstream beverages operations, a day ahead of the deadline.

However, Coca-Cola India, for reasons best known to itself, preferred to keep secret the business entities and individuals to whom it has divested the remaining 39 per cent.

Coca-Cola, which had a February deadline to complete the 49 per cent divestment of its downstream venture, had transferred 10 per cent of its equity shares in its downstream venture — Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Private Limited (HCCBPL) — to two employee trusts.

The company today said that of the remaining 39 per cent, a little over 6 per cent was placed with former and current bottlers and suppliers, representing the entire subscription applied by them.

Coca-Cola India said the remaining 33 per cent was placed with financial, private and high net worth investors.

A company spokesperson said that Coca-Cola is not listed in India and hence not bound to disclose these details.

The disinvestment was completed today by Hindustan Coca-Cola Holdings Private Limited, which is an Indian arm of The Coca-Cola Company(TTC) in the US. Coca-Cola India’s deputy president Sanjiv Gupta, who is abroad at the moment, has said in the written press statement, “A number of our former bottlers have chosen to be part of the extended Coca-Cola family.”

The downstream beverage subsidiary is in the process of investing approximately $ 100 million in its business operations during the current year. “This investment will further fuel additional upstream and downstream investments in the economy,” the company said.

HCCB owns and operates 26 plants and 60 distribution centres across the country. The company has 30 contract packers. Coca-Cola Systems in India has a workforce of about 7,000 people.

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