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Coca-Cola to divest bottling operations in northern India

Coca-Cola Co.'s Indian arm said Dec. 4 that it plans to sell its bottling operations in northern India to its existing franchise bottlers.

Coca-Cola's company-owned bottler, Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Private Ltd., will divest its operations in four noncontiguous territories while keeping its operations in the east, west and south of the country.

The move comes as Hindustan Coca-Cola plans "to build regional scale, stimulate investments and growth in the northern part of the country."

Coca-Cola added that the realignment will streamline its supply chain, bring more investments and improve distribution routes across regions where Hindustan Coca-Cola operates.

The soft drinks company has 14 bottlers in India, including Hindustan Coca-Cola.

The announcement confirms a report by The Economic Times (India) in June that said Coca-Cola is looking to refranchise its bottling operations globally.