Coca-Cola To Open 3 New Plants In China

NEW YORK (AP) -- Coca-Cola Co. announced Friday that three new bottling plants in China worth a total of $240 million are opening and near completion

They are part of the company's plan to spend $2 billion in three years in China, a key market for the Atlanta soft drink maker.

CEO Muhtar Kent made the announcement at a plant in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, that will be the company's largest production facility in China when it starts production next month. The other two plants are in Luohe in Henan Province and Sanshui, in Guangdong Province.

All three will produce Coca-Cola, Sprite, Fanta and Minute Maid; together they offer 2,000 jobs.

Coca-Cola and rival PepsiCo Inc. are both boosting investments in growing markets like China to serve new consumers and counteract weakness in the U.S. market.

Shares of Coca-Cola rose 19 cents to $61.40 in midday trading Friday.