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Refresco, one of the world’s largest independent bottlers for retailers and A-brands in Europe and North America, today announces it has entered into an agreement to acquire HANSA-HEEMANN. This transaction is subject to regulatory approval.

HANSA-HEEMANN, headquartered in Rellingen, Germany, is a family-owned, independent beverage manufacturer with five production sites spread across Germany. Its operational excellence, industry expertise and integrated value chain enable HANSA-HEEMANN to offer customers best-in-class service. The vast majority of HANSA-HEEMANN’s volume (60 %) is in mineral water, with the remaining 40 % of its volume in carbonated soft drinks (CSD). HANSA-HEEMANN serves three different market segments: private label, own brands, and contract manufacturing for A-brands. HANSA-HEEMANN employs over 800 people with an annual revenue of approximately €300 million.

Strategic rationale

Today’s announcement is a continuation of Refresco’s successful buy-and-build strategy which is a key driver of the company’s ongoing growth and value creation. With this acquisition, Refresco further enhances its position in terms of product and brand portfolio, and geographical coverage.

Acquiring HANSA-HEEMANN will bring Refresco:

  • Diversification of its business with additional products and capabilities, while maintaining a well-balanced business mix and customer base
  • Strong brands such as Fūrst Bismarck, hella and St. Michaelis
  • Expansion of its offering in water and CSDs
  • Increased presence in Germany, now offering nationwide coverage to retail customers
  • Acceleration of its operational excellence through HANSA-HEEMANN’s know-how in the water category

A changing market

Water is the largest category within the non-alcoholic beverage market. The landscape is highly competitive and rapidly changing with many smaller local and regional players who maintain a strong foothold. Branded players with a wide range of water products are looking for opportunities to grow with retail discounters.

In addition, the focus on sustainability continues resulting in for example, increased demand for recycled PET and reduction in operational carbon footprint.

Within this highly competitive and changing market, the acquisition of HANSA-HEEMANN will enable Refresco to enhance its presence in Germany – not only broadening relationships with German retailers, but also improving transport efficiencies and reducing CO2 emissions. Furthermore, Refresco will be able to leverage its global scale to further drive change in improving the sustainable use of resources.

Coca-Cola Europacific Partners will be the name of the company as Coca-Cola Amatil (Amatil) and Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) join together following completion of the acquisition in May.

Coca-Cola Europacific Partners will be the world’s largest Coca-Cola bottler and one of the leading FMCG companies in the world. The company will employ over 33,000 people, serving approximately 2 million customers in 26 countries.

The proposed acquisition of Coca-Cola Amatil was announced in October 2020, and was approved by Amatil’s shareholders on 16 April 2021. Following the completion of the acquisition in May, the new company name will come into use.

The company will continue to be listed on Euronext Amsterdam, the New York Stock Exchange, London Stock Exchange and on the Spanish Stock Exchanges, and will continue to trade under the symbol CCEP.

Peter West, currently Managing Director of Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA) Australia will become Vice President and General Manager for a newly created Australia, Pacific and Indonesia (API) Business Unit and will join the executive leadership team of Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP).

The leadership of CCEP’s existing business units and central functions remains unchanged. The new business unit’s operations include Australia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, and New Zealand Fiji and the Pacific Islands.

The company’s name will change to Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP). CCEP will combine the strength and scale of a large, multi-national business with an expert, local knowledge of the customers we serve and communities we support.

Refresco announces that it has entered into an agreement with AZPACK (Arizona Production & Packaging) to acquire their manufacturing activities located in Tempe, Arizona, USA. With this agreement, Refresco further expands its footprint in North America to enable strategic growth in this region. Refresco became the world’s largest independent bottler with leadership positions across Europe and North America following the acquisition of Cott’s bottling activities last year.

Hans Roelofs, CEO Refresco Group, explains: “North America is a large and very diverse market with a lot of growth potential in different drinks categories. Our current footprint consists of 27 locations in North America, serving national and international branded beverage companies and retailers. With the addition of AZPACK to the Refresco Group, we will be even better positioned to service customers in the Southwestern USA across many categories, including energy drinks and innovative sports drinks. AZPACK will have a specialist role in the Refresco Group, as they are known for their expertise in manufacturing complex niche products for branded beverage companies.”

Adds Peter Reilly, Co-Founder of AZPACK: “We have grown our company significantly over the past decade, but recognize the need for a different and larger platform in order to continue to grow and thrive. Both Dr. Wang and I will stay on as managers to support this next growth phase. Refresco is a very experienced beverage solutions provider and they value entrepreneurship and flexibility as much as we do. Our can-do mentality perfectly matches their approach to serving customers.”

Refresco publishes fourth quarter and full year 2018 results of Sunshine Top B.V., the entity owning Refresco Group B.V.

Q4 2018 Highlights

  • Total volume was 2,556 million liters (Q4 2017: 1,525 million liters).
  • Gross profit margin per liter was 14.3 euro cents (Q4 2017: 14.6 euro cents).
  • Adjusted EBITDA amounted to €82 million (Q4 2017: €50 million).

FY 2018 Highlights

  • Total volume was 10,888 million liters (FY 2017: 7,104 million liters).
  • Gross profit margin per liter was 14.0 euro cents (FY 2017: 14.0 euro cents).
  • Adjusted EBITDA amounted to €322 million (FY 2017: €214 million).
  • Pro-forma synergies adjusted EBITDA amounted to €374 million.
  • One-off acquisition costs and operating cost overruns reflected in net results.
  • Net debt excluding shareholder funding amounted to €2,273 million at year-end (September 30, 2018: €2,300 million).

CEO Refresco, Hans Roelofs commented:
“2018 was a transformational year for Refresco. In January we completed the acquisition of Cott’s bottling business, creating the world’s largest independent bottler for retailers and branded beverage companies and in March we completed the public to private transaction by PAI and BCI. In the final quarter of 2018, we continued to see strong overall volume growth across the business in line with our expectations and driven by both the Cott acquisition and organic growth. Although we did not achieve the level of profitability we wanted, we made good progress with integration of the two businesses and synergies are on track.

“One-off costs related to the acquisition of Cott’s bottling business and acquisition of Refresco by PAI & BCI, overruns in operating costs and some headwinds on input costs were the key items impacting our net results for the year.

“In 2018 we worked hard on the building blocks for further profitable growth in 2019 and we invested €134 million in our production and warehousing capabilities across the business. In February 2019, I was pleased to announce that we acquired Cott’s concentrate manufacturing business in Columbus, Georgia (US). This creates a global center of excellence in beverage concentrate manufacturing and adds new innovations skills and capabilities to our Group.

“To accelerate the next phase of our growth, we have decided to adjust the management structure of Refresco and create an Executive Committee. The Executive Committee will comprise the current Executive Board members and as of 1 April 2019 Chief Purchasing Officer (CPO) Coert Michielsen. The Executive Committee will be installed on 1 April 2019.”

The Annual Report 2018 is available for download under

Refresco, an independent bottler of beverages for retailers and A-brands in Europe and North America, today announces that the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has given the green light for the integration of Cott’s bottling activities in the UK. The CMA’s approval follows the sale of the Aseptic PET facility at Cott’s Nelson site to Sunmagic Juice Limited.Refresco completed the acquisition of Cott’s b

ottling activities on 30 January 2018 and integration of the two businesses began immediately in North America. Today’s announcement enables the start of the integration into one organization in the UK as well. As a result, Refresco can now truly operate as one integrated company and moves forward as the world’s largest independent bottler for retailers and A-brands.

Creating the world’s largest independent bottler for retailers and A-brands

Refresco, an independent bottler of beverages for retailers and A-brands in Europe and the US, announced completion of the acquisition of the bottling activities of Cott.

In combining Refresco’s strong European capabilities and Cott’s strength in the UK and North America, Refresco almost doubles its production volume to approximately 12 billion liters. The combination provides customers access to seamless service across geographies and an unrivalled production platform with access to all non-alcoholic beverages categories. Refresco now has a footprint of 59 facilities in 12 countries, employing over 9,500 people.

Integration and next steps

The closing follows Refresco shareholder approval, the approval in principle of the UK competition authority (CMA) and the relevant competition authorities in both the US and Canada. The CMA’s green light is conditional upon the sale of the Aseptic-PET facility at the Nelson site to a suitable buyer. Until that time Refresco and Cott will continue to operate separately in the UK.  Integration will start immediately in North America. In the UK, integration will commence once we have executed the proposed remedy.

In the new combination, Refresco’s activities in North America are significantly extended, resulting in national coverage with 22 manufacturing sites in the US, 4 manufacturing sites in Canada and 1 manufacturing site in Mexico. Furthermore, Refresco now has 26 manufacturing sites in continental Europe and 6 manufacturing sites in the UK.  In the UK, Cott’s bottling business will be integrated into Refresco Europe and Cott’s North American organization will be combined with Refresco North America.

The Cott bottling activities add new capabilities and expertise as well as the potential to share best practices across the combined activities of Refresco. There is significant value creation potential through scale benefits in raw material and packaging procurement, the realization of opex and capex efficiencies in footprint, utilization and logistical optimization, as well as benefits from integration and streamlining of the combined organization.