The Coca-Cola Company is a name most people are familiar with. Many people enjoy drinking Coca-Cola or one of the many other products they produce. Let’s dig a little deeper to find out Who Owns Coca-Cola? And take a closer look at the Coca-Cola business strategy.
- Coca-Cola’s Top Three Institutional Investors
- Who Owns Coca-Cola? – Directors and Executives who own shares in Coca-Cola
- What is Coca-Cola’s incentive formula?
- A little bit of Coca-Cola history
- The Operating Segments of Coca-Cola
- The Coca-Cola Product Line
- How does the Coca-Cola distribution system work?
- What brands are owned by Coca-Cola?
- The secret isn’t in the ‘secret formula’; it’s the bottling partners…
- Coca-Cola’s Distribution Plants
- Breaking down the Coca-Cola expansion system
- Coca-Cola’s Mission and Vision Statements
- Thinking of a career with Coca-Cola?
- Who Owns Coca-Cola? – Final Thoughts
Coca-Cola’s Top Three Institutional Investors
Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
Sitting at the number one spot is Berkshire Hathaway – an American multinational conglomerate holding company owned by Warren Buffet. Berkshire Hathaway holds the majority with 9.23% in shares, and an aggregate number of shares beneficially owned at a whopping 400 million.
Read more: What Does Coca-Cola Own?
The Vanguard Group
In second place with 7.9% in shares is The Vanguard Group – one of the world’s largest investment companies, which are based in Pennsylvania. Their aggregate number of shares beneficially owned is 342 million.
Last but not least is BlackRock, a New York-based multinational investment company holding 6.45% in Coca-Cola shares, with an aggregate number of shares beneficially owned at 279 million.
Who is Herbert A. Allen?
Herbert A. Allen Jr. is a former director of Coca-Cola who retired from the board in 2021 after 39 years of service. Furthermore, Allen also owns the tech-focused boutique investment bank Allen & Co.
Mr. Allen’s aggregate number of shares beneficially owned sits at over 18 million. This includes 6 million shares held by Allen & Co. There are 31 thousand shares held by 12 trusts, of which Mr. Allen is a trustee of each. Additionally, a foundation, of which he is one of six directors, holds thirty thousand shares. The thirty thousand shares held by the foundation are not beneficially owned by Mr. Allen.
Who is Barry Diller?
Barry Diller has been a director of Coca-Cola since 2002. He has been a Special Advisor to TripAdvisor, Inc., and is the Chairman of the Board and Senior Executive of Expedia Group Inc.
Mr. Diller’s aggregate number of beneficially owned shares is an impressive six million. Four million of these shares are held by a trust, of which Mr. Diller is the sole trustee and beneficiary.
There are also two million shares that the trust may obtain upon the exercise of call options purchased from an unrelated third party, which are presently exercisable. This does not include the 123 thousand share units deferred under the Director’s Plan – these are paid out in cash.
Who is Muhtar Kent?
Muhtar Kent is the chairman of The Coca-Cola Company’s board of directors. He led the business as CEO from 2009 to 2017. He began working for Coca-Cola in 1978, and over the course of his career, he has held many senior positions in operations and marketing.
Mr. Kent has over 13 million aggregate shares beneficially owned. This excludes 71 thousand share units credited under the Coca-Cola Supplemental 401k Plan, as well as 168 thousand unvested performance share units. These are settled in shares upon vesting.
What is Coca-Cola’s incentive formula?
Since 2017 Coca-Cola has been using an incentive formula that consists of the following: a base salary which is multiplied by a target percentage, then multiplied by the company performance factor, to which an individual performance amount is added. To summarise:
Base Salary x Target Percentage x Company Performance Factor + Individual Performance Amount = Annual Incentive Amount
Muhar Kent, for example, had a 200% target in 2017. With his base salary being $1 million, he received an annual target incentive of $2 million, which is twice his base salary.
A little bit of Coca-Cola history
The tale of how Coca-Cola came into existence is well known. John Stith Pemberton, a pharmacist, created the soda in 1886. Business tycoon Asa Griggs Candler then purchased the recipe and brand in 1889 for $2,300 (approximately $71,000 in 2023). Since 1889, the business was run as a franchised distribution network, and in 1892 he incorporated the Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta.
As a result, Coca-Cola had plenty of time for people to get accustomed to its brand and flavor. For millions, if not billions of people, it became a habit (or a vice, perhaps). Whatever country you are in doesn’t matter – Coca-Cola is likely there.
Secret formula or not, it takes a considerable amount of effort to grow a business so successfully. Now, let’s dive into Coca-Cola’s operations.
The Operating Segments of Coca-Cola
There are multiple operating segments of Coca-Cola that are spread across the world. This includes North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia Pacific. These operating segments involve bottling investments, concentrate and/or syrup plants, distribution plants, and corporate affairs.
The Coca-Cola Product Line
The product line can be put into two main groups:
These are usually referred to as “beverage bases” or “concentrate operations.” There are also syrups, including fountain syrups.
Finished Product Operations
These are the finished sparkling beverages and other non-alcoholic drinks. They can also be called “finished product business.”
Concentrate operations tend to generate higher gross profit margins, but on the other hand, finished product operations usually have higher net operating revenues.
How the Coca-Cola Manufacturing Process Works: Finished vs. Unfinished Products
A quick summary of an annual Coca-Cola report explains that outside the United States, the company also sell concentrates for fountain beverages to bottling partners who are then typically authorized to manufacture fountain syrups. They then sell these to fountain retailers like restaurants and convenience stores that use the syrups to produce beverages for immediate consumption, or they sell them to authorized fountain wholesalers, who then sell and distribute the syrups to fountain retailers.
Whereas the finished product operations typically generate net operating revenues by selling sparkling soft drinks and other nonalcoholic beverages, which include water, enhanced water, and sports drinks, plus juice, dairy, and plant-based beverages, as well as tea, coffee and energy drinks, to retailers or distributors, wholesalers and to their bottling partners who then distribute them to retailers.
How does the Coca-Cola distribution system work?
Coca-Cola has an immense beverage distribution system that can serve 1.9 billion beverages every day. This enables more than 200 nations across the world have access to Coca-Cola beverages, thanks to a network of independent bottling partners, distributors, wholesalers, and retailers, as well as Company-owned or -controlled bottling and distribution operations.
What brands are owned by Coca-Cola?
The Coca-Cola Company owns a variety of brands in addition to the traditional Coca-Cola beverage, including:
- Coca-Cola Zero Sugar
- Diet Coke / Coca-Cola Light
- Glacéau Smartwater
- Minute Maid and Minute Maid Pulpy
- FUZE TEA
- Gold Peak
- Glacéau Vitaminwater
- Del Valle
- I LOHAS
- Simply Beverages
- Ice Dew
- Georgia Coffee
The secret isn’t in the ‘secret formula’; it’s the bottling partners…
Based on unit case volume, The Coca-Cola Company had five significant independent bottling partners in 2017:
- Coca-Cola European Partners plc (“CCEP”)
- Coca-Cola HBC AG (“Coca-Cola Hellenic”)
- Coca-Cola FEMSA S.A.B. C.V., (“Coca-Cola FEMSA”)
- Swire Beverages
- Arca Continental
That means in 2017; this distribution system accounted for 41% of the total unit case volume. This is a crucial component of Coca-Cola’s overarching business plan.
Coca-Cola’s Distribution Plants
Coca-Cola can make its products accessible everywhere thanks to its global network of distribution centers. For example – concentrate operations accounted for 51% of production in 2017, while finished product operations accounted for 49%.
The distribution channels used by Coca-Cola are yet another crucial component of its overall business plan. For example – in 2016, Coca-Cola had more than $41 billion in net operating revenues, while in 2017, it was over $35 billion.
A quick look into the environment of Coca-Cola
The Coca-Cola system is arguably the largest distribution ecosystem on earth, with a vast range of soft drinks totaling more than four thousand brands, 250 bottling partners, 900 plants, and 27 million retail customers. That is a staggering network of operations.
Breaking down the Coca-Cola expansion system
Coca-Cola employs a business strategy (in place since 2006) in which its operating arm, the Bottling Investment Group, makes early investments in the operations of its bottling partners.
Coca-Cola then sells its equity shares in these businesses when they take off and develops a franchising model as their long-term growth and distribution plan.
Coca-Cola’s Mission and Vision Statements
The mission statement of Coca-Cola is to “refresh the world. Make a difference.” The company’s vision and mission are to “craft the brands and choice of drinks people love, to refresh them in body and spirit, in ways that create a more sustainable business and a better-shared future that makes a difference in people’s lives, in communities, and to our planet.”
For more information, please check out our in-depth Coca-Cola Mission and Vision Statement Analysis.
Thinking of a career with Coca-Cola?
Or, if you’re interested in knowing more about company ownership, then our informative guides on Who Owns Dr. Pepper, Who Owns Popeyes, Who Owns Hershey, Who owns Twitter, Who Owns Dreamworks, Who Owns ESPN, and Who owns Netflix may be well worth a look.
Who Owns Coca-Cola? – Final Thoughts
In the soft drink sector, Coca-Cola dominates the market. A Business Insider analysis found that an astounding 94% of people worldwide are familiar with the red and white emblem, making it the most well-known brand across the globe.
However, as customers become more health conscious and access to water resources becomes more limited, Coca-Cola may face tough challenges over the next decade.
Enjoy your refreshing Coca-Cola!