Coca-Cola Co. closed its Cairo office starting Sunday. The office “will not reopen until security in the city improves,’’ said Kenth Kaerhoeg, a spokesman for the big beverage business in Atlanta. “The safety of our employees is our primary concern and we are taking all necessary measures to ensure everyone’s safety.”
Mr. Kaerhoeg declined to offer any details about possible evacuations or the exact number of Coke staffers in Egypt. An Egyptian bottler operating as its local franchisee owns eight bottling plants there.
Egyptian operations of food giant Nestle SA “have been temporarily interrupted due to ongoing political unrest across the country,’’ said Nina Backes, a spokeswoman for the owner of brands such as KitKat, Gerber baby food and Nescafe coffee. “The company is currently evacuating the families of around 20 expatriates,’’ she added.
Ms. Backes said its three Egyptian factories “have temporarily been shut down.’’ She declined to say how family members are being evacuated – nor whether Nestle might also evacuate expatriates. “We continue to monitor the situation closely,’’ she added.
Nestle’s Egypt unit has three factories and 3,000 employees. It began factory operations there in 1988. Nestle, based in Vevey, Switzerland, is the world’s largest food company by sales.
Unrest in Egypt also is affecting U.S. companies without permanent offices there. An Occidental Petroleum Corp. spokesman said ten professionals on a temporary Egyptian assignment cut short their stay and left Cairo Sunday on chartered aircraft arranged by the company without difficulty. “They left sooner than anticipated,’’ he continued.
He declined to disclose why the Oxy Pete staffers went to Egypt several weeks ago. “There was no definitive time frame” for their abbreviated business trip, the spokesman said.