Mar 032013

MANILA, Philippines – Beverage giant The Coca-Cola Co. has decided to close its plant in Calamba, Laguna to streamline its regional operations. The company, however, said it remains committed to investing in the Philippines for the next 100 years.

Bessie Arciga, corporate communications and brand public relations manager of The Coca-Cola Export Corp., said in an email that the decision to close the Canlubang concentrate plant will affect 57 direct employees.

“In order to streamline operations, The Coca-Cola Co. continuously reviews its concentrate supply chain to drive greater efficiency and position itself to meet future growth in Asia. As a result of that review, the company has decided to produce all concentrate and beverage base for the Philippines in Singapore, and to close the Philippines concentrate plant,” she said.

“This decision will allow us to be more efficient and to increase flexibility in the Asia supply chain,” she said further.

The plant closure is expected to be completed within the year.

To mitigate the effect of the plant closure, the firm is reassigning employees in Canlubang to its other plants or facilities in the country and in Singapore.

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The company will likewise be giving a competitive severance package to its employees.

But while the firm has decided to halt operations at its plant in Canlubang, it intends to pursue investments in the country.

“Although we have closed our plant, the company remains committed to investing in the Philippine economy not only for the present but also for the next 100 years,” Arciga said.

In 2010, the company announced its plan to pour in $1 billion worth of investments in the country until 2015 to strengthen its production and distribution operations in the country.

Earlier this year, company completed the sale of its 51- percent stake in Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines, Inc. (CCBPI) for $688.50 million to Mexican firm Coca-Cola FEMSA, S.A.B de C.V., which sells softdrinks in Latin America.

Coca-Cola FEMSA has the option to acquire the remaining 49 percent of CCBPI during the seven years after the closing of the deal.

Coca-Cola FEMSA will likewise include a put option in the sixth year after the closing of the transaction to sell its stake in CCBPI to The Coca-Cola Co.

CCBPI was expected to have sold 530 million cases of beverages from its 23 production plants last year.

Coca-Cola has been in the Philippines since the start of the 20th century and has been locally produced since 1912.

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