The Reel Thing

Coke's Columbian connection

Since he became chairman of Coca-Cola (1981 sales: more than $6 billion) last March, Cuban-born Roberto Goizueta has added new life to the once staid and secretive company. He has revitalized sales and marketing efforts and erased a lead that Pepsi-Cola had opened in the crucial race for grocery store business. Last week he uncapped his most stunning announcement: the Atlanta-based bottler will spend about $820 million in cash and stock to buy Columbia Pictures (1981 sales: $686.6 million).

The deal will push Coke into the forefront of the entertainment industry. It will give the firm access to Columbia's studios...

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