Refresco Group acquires Cott’s bottling operations, including a Puebla facility
Netherlands-based Refresco Group N.V., an independent bottler of soft drinks and fruit juices, announced that its shareholders have approved the acquisition of Cott’s bottling activities for US$ 1.25 billion. The deal includes a facility in Puebla, Mexico.
The operation will make of Refresco the world’s largest independent bottler with combined production volumes of approximately 12 billion liters across 59 production sites and leading positions across Europe and North America, said the company in a press release.
With this approval by 99.5% of the votes cast, the company moves towards closing the transaction, which is expected to take place in the fourth quarter of 2017, subject to the satisfaction of the remaining closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.
“The bottling activities of Cott are a perfect strategic fit to our current activities. With this acquisition, we create a nationwide coverage in the US, the largest single soft drinks market globally, while adding significant capacity and extending our broad product portfolio in the UK,” Hans Roelofs, Refresco’s CEO, said in a statement.
Cott’s bottling activities are comprised of a leading beverage platform with a full portfolio of non-alcoholic beverages, focused on retailer brands and contract manufacturing.
The deal also provides profitable business with healthy margins and strong free cash flow, including 2016 revenues of US$ 1.7 billion, adjusted EBITDA of US$ 136.5 million and customer relationships with over 500 leading retailers.
In 2002 Cott entered into a joint venture to manufacture and sell private label soft drinks and bottled water to major retail and other customers in Mexico. Its bottling facility in Puebla provides access to the Mexico City metropolitan area as well other regions to the south. Customers in Mexico include large multinational beverage companies and retailers as well as smaller distributors.