Coca-Cola Canada Bottling Ltd. acquires The Coca-Cola Co.’s Canadian bottling business

On September 28, 2018, Coca-Cola Canada Bottling Limited (“CCCBL”), a joint venture established between prominent businessman and philanthropist, Larry Tanenbaum O.C., and Junior Bridgeman, a former NBA player, renowned entrepreneur and owner of Kansas City-based Heartland Coca-Cola Bottling Company, completed its previously announced acquisition of Coca-Cola Refreshments Canada Company (“CCRC”) from Coca-Cola Refreshments USA, Inc., a subsidiary of The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) (the “Transaction”). 

CCCBL continues to employ 5,800 CCRC employees and is responsible for all Coca-Cola bottling and distribution operations across Canada, including the operation of five production facilities and over fifty sales and distribution centres. CCCBL will continue to offer a wide variety of beverages, including some of the most popular brands in Canada such as Coca-Cola®, Diet Coke®, Coca-Cola® Zero Sugar, Coca-Cola Life™, Sprite®, Fanta®, Barq’s®, NESTEA®, POWERADE®, Minute Maid®, DASANI® and vitaminwater®; and its partner brands Canada Dry®, Monster Energy®, evian®, and A&W®. 

The Coca-Cola Company was represented internally by a team led by John Uyham (Senior Counsel - Mergers and Acquisitions) and Brian Henry, VP and Senior Managing Partner, as well as its Canadian in-house counsel Scott Kirkpatrick (General Counsel) and Andrew Brock (Legal Counsel).

The Coca-Cola Company was externally led by transaction counsel, DLA Piper (Canada) LLP. The M&A team in Canada was led by Russel Drew (Toronto) and included Mackenzie Clark, Grace Latimer, Sandra Appel, Mitchell Smith, Melissa Gaul, Christopher Pejovic, Quinlan Winton, Matylda Makulska, Stephanie Blakely, Lauren Storwick, Ryan Walter and Daniel Zajac. The DLA Piper (US) LLP team was led by Jeff Baglio (San Diego).

Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP provided Tax advice to The Coca-Cola Company in connection with the Transaction, with a team led by Jeffrey Shafer, and including Zvi Halpern-Shavim. McMillan LLP provided Competition law advice to The Coca-Cola Company in connection with the Transaction. The McMillan team was led by Casey Halladay and included Neil Campbell and William Wu. Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP provided Regulatory, Environmental, Real Estate, Employment, Trade and Licensing advice, with a team that included Chandimal Nicholas, Alison Manzer and Richard Ngo (regulatory/licensing), Signe Leisk, Adrianna Pilkington and Meghan Rourke (environmental and real estate), Laurie Jessome and Caitlin Russel (employment) and Brenda Swick (international trade). Bennett Jones LLP with a team comprising Leonard Griffiths (environmental), Jane Helmstadter and Alla Segal (real estate), Susan Seller (pensions and benefits) and Carl Cunningham (employment) also advised. 

CCCBL was represented internally by Gennady Ferenbok, Vice President Legal, Kilmer Group, and Shellie Clausen, General Counsel, Heartland Coca-Cola Bottling Company, LLC, and externally by Goodmans LLP. The Goodmans team was led by Neil Sheehy and Kirk Rauliuk, and included Laura Magisano and Bryan Flatt (corporate/M&A), Ken Herlin, Tyler D’Angelo and Lisa Hawker (real estate), Jeffrey Citron, Christopher Payne and Danielle Knight (finance), Alan Bowman and Michael Royal (tax), Michael Koch (competition), John Alton (pensions and benefits) and Kate Lyons (environmental). 

Fasken represented the Lenders (The Bank of Nova Scotia, Bank of Montreal and National Bank of Canada), with a team led by John Torrey and including David Ferris and Dan Conrad (banking), Allyson Roy (real estate), Brad Freelan (securities) and Chris Steeves (tax).