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Refresco to acquire Cott’s beverage business for $1.25bn

Published 27 July 2017

Dutch drinks-maker Refresco has agreed to acquire Cott’s beverage business for $1.25bn.

The transaction will include Cott’s North America, UK, and Mexico businesses, while excluding RCI International division and its associated concentrate facility and the Aimia Foods division.

Cott has been producing a wide range of beverages for the past 60 years, for retail trade and branded manufacturers.

It is claimied to be one of the largest producers of beverages on behalf of retailers, brand owners and distributors that produce multiple types of beverages that range in different sizes.

Its portfolio includes carbonated soft drinks, 100% shelf stable juice and juice-based products, energy drinks, clear, still and sparkling flavored waters, sports drinks, new age beverages, ready-to-drink teas, freezables and ready-to-drink alcoholic beverages.

Cott Beverages claims to earn about $1.7bn in revenues. The company has longstanding customer relationships in North America and the United Kingdom. After the transaction is completed, the management team of Cott will report to the executive board of Refresco.

Cott's CEO Jerry Fowden said: "After a thorough strategic review in 2013, we developed an accelerated diversification and acquisition strategy in order to transform our company and create a business weighted towards better for you products in categories with topline growth, a more diverse channel and customer base, higher margins, and strong free cash flow generation.

“This transaction is very much in line with this strategy, and enables our traditional business to become an integral part of a larger global beverage manufacturing company that pursues the same high customer service and quality standards Cott has been known for throughout its history.” 

Refresco CEO Hans Roelofs said: "We are excited to welcome Cott Beverages to the Refresco family. We have been focused on growing our platform in both North America and Europe and this transaction is a significant enhancement to our buy and build strategy which will provide Refresco with enlarged scale, synergies, and savings alongside Refresco's manufacturing footprint, geographic diversity, product range and customer service.

"We will now have a well-balanced portfolio with exposure to all categories for retailers in North America and Europe in addition to a scale contract manufacturing footprint throughout these geographies from which to continue to grow both organically and by pursuing our buy and build strategy.”

The acquisition is expected to close in the second half of this year, subject some closing conditions and regulatory approval.

Image: Refresco to buy Cott’s beverage business. Photo: Courtesy of Refresco Group.