Coca-Cola Bottling Works Toward Expanding Chattanooga Operations
Coca-Cola Bottling Company United (CCBCU) officials announced Tuesday the company is exploring the possibility of expanding by building a new, state-of-the-art distribution and sales facility in Hamilton County. If successful, Chattanooga Coca-Cola, the first franchised bottler of Coca-Cola in the world, will invest $62 million in the new facility and bring 43 new jobs to Chattanooga over the next year.
“Coca-Cola bottling began in Chattanooga. We’ve been here for 115 years and hope to grow here,” said Darren Hodges, division vice president for Chattanooga Coca-Cola Bottling Company. “But, we’re having a hard time finding industrial property in Hamilton County that can accommodate this expansion. We’re working through our final due diligence and hope to finalize our investment soon.”
The company plans to build a new 290,000 square foot distribution and sales facility. Other construction and improvements include ancillary automobile parking, roadways, truck docks, truck and trailer maneuvering and parking areas, stormwater management system, lighting and landscaping.
“This expansion project would keep Coca-Cola growing in Hamilton County and add family-wage jobs in our area,” said Mayor Jim Coppinger. “Everyone in the community, from individuals to small businesses, benefits from added jobs and the resulting additional income circulating in our local economy.”
“Coca-Cola is a globally-recognized, incredibly valuable brand with its roots planted firmly in our community," said Mayor Andy Berke. "We are proud of the Coca-Cola legacy in Chattanooga and look forward to the possibility of a new distribution facility that will increase their presence in our area.”
CCBCU currently has 487 employees in Chattanooga. In order to accommodate the expansion, 203 employees will remain at the existing bottling facility while the distribution and regional offices will be transferred to a new location along with the additional 43 new jobs.
“Coca-Cola’s potential expansion in Chattanooga continues our city’s heritage as an ideal location for food and beverage manufacturers,” said Charles Wood, vice president of economic development at the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce. “The new distribution facility would create jobs and redevelopment, demonstrating the importance of existing industry expansion in our community.”
Wood also thanked David DeVaney of Charter Real Estate Company. “DeVaney has contributed substantially to this effort both in terms of identifying sites and completing due diligence to finalize the project.”
CCBCU has three production facilities and 18 distribution sales centers located in six Southeastern states. In the United States, they are the third largest bottler of Coca-Cola products and are the largest privately held Coca-Cola bottler employing a workforce of approximately 3,000 people.
Founded in 1902, CCBCU produces and distributes more than 400 beverages and 6 million cases each year.
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Last Update on March 05, 2015 08:35 GMT
ECONOMY-THE DAY AHEAD
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Labor Department will report today on the number of people who applied for unemployment benefits last week. The department will also issue its revised report on fourth-quarter productivity. And the Commerce Department will report on U.S. factory orders for January. Also today, Freddie Mac will release average mortgage rates.
The jobs market has been steadily improving in recent months.
And a private survey Wednesday showed that U.S. businesses added more than 200,000 jobs in February for the 13th straight month. It was the latest sign that strong hiring should boost the economy this year.
Payroll processor ADP says companies added 212,000 jobs last month, a solid gain, though down from 250,000 in the previous month. January's figure was revised up from 213,000. The figures come just before tomorrow's government report on the labor market, which economists forecast will show an increase of 240,000 jobs, according to a survey by data provider FactSet. The unemployment rate is expected to fall to 5.6 percent from 5.7 percent.
BEIJING (AP) -- China is setting a lower economic growth target for this year and is promising to open more industries to foreign investors as it tries to make its slowing, state-dominated economy more productive.
In a report to the National People's Congress, Premier Li Keqiang (lee kuh-TYAHNG') says the growth target of about 7 percent, down from last year's 7.5 percent, is in line with efforts to create a "moderately prosperous society." Actual economic growth last year was 7.4 percent, the lowest since 1990.
The ruling Communist Party is in the midst of a marathon effort to guide the world's second-largest economy to slower but more self-sustaining growth based on domestic consumption and services. It is trying to replace a worn-out model driven by trade and investment in construction and heavy industry that has left China's air and water badly polluted.
JOHNSON & JOHNSON-PHARMACYCLICS
Report: J&J close to deal to buy partner Pharmacyclics
UNDATED (AP) -- Health care giant Johnson & Johnson reportedly is close to buying biopharmaceutical company Pharmacyclics, its longtime partner in developing the blood cancer treatment Imbruvica.
London's Financial Times reports "people familiar with the matter" say Johnson & Johnson's anticipated offer would value Pharmacyclics of Sunnyvale, California, above its current $17 billion market capitalization. Those sources said a deal could be announced within days but might unravel.
J&J spokeswoman Amy Meyer declined to comment.
Pharmacyclics shares surged on the rumor, jumping 6.3 percent in regular trading and another 3 percent after hours to $237.48.
Johnson & Johnson, based in New Brunswick, New Jersey, usually makes mid-sized acquisitions worth several billion dollars, but paid $21.3 billion in 2011 for Synthes, a Swiss maker of orthopedic surgical equipment. J&J has annual revenue of $74 billion.
MANDARIN ORIENTAL-DATA BREACH
NEW YORK (AP) -- Upscale hotel chain Mandarin Oriental says it is investigating a potential credit card breach at its hotels.
"Unfortunately incidents of this nature are increasingly becoming an industrywide concern," the company said in an emailed statement. Mandarin Oriental said it is coordinating with credit card agencies and forensic specialists. The company didn't disclose how many hotels were affected nor how many customers reported fraudulent charges on their credit cards.
Mandarin Oriental operates hotels across the world including Paris, Shanghai, Hong Kong, London, New York, Miami, San Francisco, Prague, Boston, Las Vegas, Macau and Barcelona.
The breach was first reported by cybersecurity news website KrebsOnSecurity.
WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) -- A Delaware judge is eyeing approval of a $275 million settlement in a shareholder lawsuit alleging that videogame maker Activision Blizzard was shortchanged in a $6 billion buyback of shares from French media conglomerate Vivendi SA in 2013.
Following a hearing Wednesday, the judge said he viewed the settlement favorably, and that the defendants were providing reasonable value to settle the claims against them.
An attorney for the lead plaintiff told the judge that the $275 million settlement is the largest ever in a derivative suit, in which shareholders sue on behalf of a company.
The lawsuit alleged that Activision executives and directors, working with Vivendi, breached their fiduciary duties by entering into a deal that improperly benefited CEO Bobby Kotick and co-chairman Brian Kelly.
ELIZABETH, N.J. (AP) -- Democratic lawmakers and environmentalists are criticizing a proposed legal settlement between Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's administration and Exxon Mobil over oil and chemical contamination.
The state had sought $9 billion in damages. But a person familiar with the matter says the settlement is for about $250 million. The person wasn't authorized to speak before details were released publicly and spoke Wednesday to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.
Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto is planning a public hearing. Senate President Steve Sweeney and Sen. Ray Lesniak have threatened a lawsuit.
A judge found Exxon liable in 2008 for contamination in Bayonne and Linden. But there's been no ruling on damages.
Irving, Texas-based Exxon Mobil Corp. had said damages should be capped at $3 million.
CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) -- A bankruptcy court judge says more time is needed to seek higher bids for Atlantic City's former Revel Casino Hotel.
Judge Gloria Burns delayed a decision Wednesday on the proposed $82 million sale of the shuttered gambling hall to Florida developer Glenn Straub.
She did so after Los Angeles developer Izek Shomof expressed interest in buying Revel, but for $2 million less.
Leo Pustilnikov, Shomof's partner, says he's interested in making a formal bid soon.
Burns says she's giving Revel AC and potential bidders time to work out the best possible deal for the shuttered casino.
A new hearing is set for March 12.
Two previous sales of Revel have fallen through.
The $2.4 billion casino closed in September after two years of operation, and never turned a profit.
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