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Coca-Cola's Tonawanda site sold to New England affiliate

Coca-Cola Co.'s Northern New England distribution franchise has completed its purchase of Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Buffalo's Tonawanda operation from a sister company in Pennsylvania, completing a complex restructuring of Coke's regional bottling operations.

Abarta Coca-Cola Beverages, a privately held fourth-generation food and beverage distributor based in Pittsburgh, sold the Coca-Cola of Buffalo plant facilities at 150 and 200 Milens Road in Tonawanda to an affiliate of Bedford, N.H.-based Coca-Cola of Northern New England.

The purchase price was $1.58 million, according to a deed filed in the Erie County Clerk's office, but that's just part of the larger transfer of the Buffalo-area distribution franchise.

Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Buffalo, which serves the eight-county region of Western New York, had been owned by Abarta since 1980.

But Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Co., after years of consolidating its distribution network, has begun reselling and re-franchising its bottling operations. It recently awarded Abarta the sales and distribution rights to almost all of Pennsylvania, except for Philadelphia, tripling its size and sharply increasing its facility count and employee base.

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