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A.D. Huesing

The A.D. Huesing Pepsi-Cola franchise bottling company, a longtime Rock Island business, has been sold.

The A.D. Huesing Corp., which got its start in 1899 in Rock Island, has been sold.

The new owner is Madison, Wisconsin-based WP Beverages. Tyler Hartman, director of marketing and brand development for WP Beverages, said Monday the deal was closed Friday.

The companies would not disclose the purchase price.

A.D. Huesing was owned by the Helpenstell family for decades. The new name of the company is Pepsi-Cola of Rock Island.

“Our organization, WP Beverages, is made up of families like the Helpenstell family,” Hartman said. “Wis-Pak (of which WP Beverages is a subsidiary) is a co-op that produces Pepsi beverages, and there are families that own franchises, like the Rock Island franchise, that purchase product from that co-op. And when they want to exit the business, we then provide a way for them to exit the business but still hold onto the ownership of the territory.”

The Helpenstell family, under the leadership of Franz “Bud” Helpenstell, was a shareholder of Wis-Pak Inc. Wis-Pak, which was founded in 1969, is based in Watertown, Wisconsin. It has manufacturing facilities in Watertown and LaCrosse, Wisconsin.; Mankato, Minnesota; Norfolk, Nebraska; Quincy, Illinois; Dyersburg, Tennessee; Hattiesburg, Mississippi; and Flagstaff, Arizona.

WP Beverages is a majority-owned subsidiary of Wis-Pak, which has distribution facilities in Madison; Rockford, Illinois; Hermansville, Michigan; Chamberlain and Mitchell, South Dakota; and now Rock Island.

Hartman said no major changes are planned in Rock Island. “The majority of the employees will remain,” he said. “Operations will continue similar to what they have been in the past.”

WP Beverages is a family-owned Pepsi distributor, made up of as many as 40 families. Estimates have A.D. Huesing with approximately 90 employees.

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Night City Editor