Russell Hulstine, NewsOn6.com

OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma -- Oklahoma City-based Great Plains Coca-Cola Bottling Company has been acquired by Coca-Cola for $360 million.

Great Plains is the fifth-largest independent Coca-Cola bottler in the U.S. and covers Oklahoma from Ardmore to Enid and Oklahoma City to Vinita, as well as a portion of northwest Arkansas.

Great Plains operates eight facilities in Oklahoma and one in northwest Arkansas and employs more than 1,200 workers.

The company has been led by a member of the Browne family since 1922.

"My family has been a proud part of the Coca-Cola System for nearly nine decades and has built Great Plains into one of the most innovative and successful bottlers in the U.S. The reason for our success is simple: From the beginning we have always strived to provide the best quality drinks with the best customer service," said Robert F. Browne, chairman and chief executive officer, Great Plains. "As I look to the future, I believe this is the right action to ensure the continued success of this business that I love."

The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of the year.