NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – Before Coca-Cola starts laying off employees to ‘streamline operations’ the company is offering voluntary buyouts to about 4,000 people. Officials say they’re making the offer to reduce the number of people being let go.

Coca-Cola is cutting the number of its individual business segments from 17 to nine, which it said Friday will result in “voluntary and involuntary” staff cuts.

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The streamlining is taking place during a rough stretch for Coca-Cola and almost all companies that cater to social events.

Half of Coca-Cola’s sales come from stadiums, movie theaters and other places where people gather in large numbers — venues that have been closed during the coronavirus pandemic. Revenue tumbled 28% in the Atlanta company’s most recent quarter.

Shares of Coca-Cola Co. are down about 13% this year.

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The initial round of offers will go to people working in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico with the most-recent hire date of on or before Sept. 1, 2017.

Expenses related to the severance programs are expected to be between about $350 million to $550 million.

Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages is based in Dallas. The company is said to be one of the largest Coca-Cola bottlers in the U.S. No word on how or if the buyouts and layoffs will affect employees there.

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