PHILADELPHIA — A New York lawyer-businessman joined basketball star Julius (Dr. J) Erving in taking over majority ownership Wednesday of the first black-controlled Coca-Cola bottling franchise in what was described as a multimillion-dollar deal.
J. Bruce Llewellyn, who has served as chairman of the Philadelphia Coca-Cola Bottling Co., will become chief executive of the firm, which today does an annual gross business of more than $100 million.
Coca-Cola U.S.A., one of the world's largest companies, still owns about 48% of the business. But Tomas Orenstein, senior vice president, said that "we will sell off about two-thirds of that to other investors brought in by Llewellyn."
Llewellyn declined to give either the purchase price or his personal share. He did say that Erving, who has been a major commercial spokesman for Coke in recent years, will support the Philadelphia bottler in a variety of marketing roles.