3/4/1997 9:00 

The Coca-Cola Company and Carlsberg A/S today announced the signing of a joint venture agreement for the bottling and distribution of Coca-Cola and other soft drinks in the markets of Denmark and Sweden. This is a natural extension of many years co-operation in Denmark through the Carlsberg owned company A/S Dadeko.

The final agreement is subject to regulatory approval.

As a first step in the co-operation, a new company, Coca-Cola Nordic Beverages A/S (CCNB), will be established as a joint venture company in which Carlsberg A/S will hold 51 per cent of the share capital and The Coca-Cola Company will hold 49 per cent. The new company, which will be located in Copenhagen, is to act as the holding company for the operations in the individual countries which will have rights to bottle, sell and distribute products of The Coca-Cola Company, including Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola light, Fanta and Sprite.

In Denmark, Carlsberg will contribute its ownership in A/S Dadeko to the new entity, CCNB, in exchange for 51 per cent of the share capital of CCNB.

In Sweden, The Coca-Cola Company will contribute its 100 per cent ownership in Coca-Cola Drycker Sverige AB (CCDS) and cash in exchange for 49 per cent of the share capital of CCNB. A separate agreement in Sweden on distribution has been entered into by CCDS and Falcon Bryggerier AB in which Carlsberg holds a 50 per cent stake.

The increase in net asset value in the Carlsberg Group which will be generated from these transactions will be provided to meet future investments in the Nordic countries.

In Norway, it is contemplated that Coca-Cola Beverages Norway AS will also become a part of CCNB.

This agreement signals some very important prospects for Carlsberg's future in markets where continued growth in the sale of non-alcoholic beverages is expected. Considerable investments will be made to develop the infrastructure in these markets and we have a long term horizon on this new investment, said Flemming Lindeløv, President & Group Chief Executive, Carlsberg A/S.

"With the creation of Coca-Cola Nordic Beverages, we will have a strong bottler serving the region with a shared commitment to developing our soft drink business and serving our customers and the people who enjoy our products," said M. Douglas Ivester President and Chief Operating Officer of The Coca-Cola Company. "We look forward to working with Carlsberg, which brings to this new partnership its business strength, as well as its solid experience as a soft drink bottler. Working together, we see great opportunities to expand our business and take advantage of the significant p0tential that exists in these markets," said M. Douglas Ivester.