Ad:Business Contacts
Ads:Current issue FRUIT PROCESSINGWorld Of Fruits 2023Our technical book Apple Juice TechnologyFRUIT PROCESSING Online Special: Instability of fruit-based beveragesFRUIT PROCESSING Online Special: Don’t give clogs a chanceOrange Juice ChainOur German magazine FLÜSSIGES OBST

Refresco, the world’s largest independent bottler for retailers and A-brands in Europe and North America, announces it has entered into an agreement with The Coca-Cola Company to acquire three of its production locations in the United States. This transaction is subject to regulatory approval.

Hans Roelofs, CEO Refresco, comments: “The ongoing trend of A-brands outsourcing their production capabilities continues to provide opportunities for us as an independent beverage solutions provider. With manufacturing and supply chain being at the heart of our business, the acquisition of three Coca-Cola facilities in the US is another step forward in our growth strategy.”

Brad Goist, COO Refresco North America, adds: “Adding three hotfill production sites to our footprint is a great opportunity to further enhance our offering. I am convinced that our Retail and A-brand customers across North America will be able to benefit from our extended capabilities and broadened geographical footprint.”

The prospective transaction includes three production facilities in Truesdale (Missouri), Waco (Texas) and Paw Paw (Michigan), and involves long-term agreements for contract manufacturing activities. Refresco will become one of Coca-Cola’s strategic third-party contract manufacturers in the United States.

Strategic rationale

This acquisition is well aligned with Refresco’s buy-and-build strategy, focused on further expanding and strengthening its manufacturing footprint across Europe and North America to service both retailers and A-brands.

All three hotfill production locations are highly complementary to Refresco North America’s current manufacturing footprint. Through the acquisition, Refresco further improves its proximity to its existing customer base and expands its technological capabilities.

Transaction highlights

  • The transaction is subject to regulatory approval.
  • Refresco will finance the transaction from its existing cash position.
  • The financial terms of the transaction are not disclosed.

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 Group N.V. announced that its shareholders have approved the acquisition of Cott’s bottling activities during an Extraordinary Shareholders Meeting held today. With this transformational acquisition, right at the heart of Refresco’s buy and build strategy, the company creates the world’s largest independent bottler with leadership positions across Europe and North America.

78.9 % of all outstanding ordinary shares were represented at the meeting. The resolution to approve (within the meaning of Section 2:107a of the Dutch Civil Code) the acquisition was adopted by 99.5 % of the votes cast. With this approval an important step is taken towards closing of the transaction, which is expected to take place in the 4th quarter of 2017, subject to the satisfaction of the remaining closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.

CEO Refresco, Hans Roelofs: “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. It is a unique, transformational transaction marking a step change in the industry. It reinforces our position as leading independent bottler for retailers and A-brands, creating a company with combined production volumes of approximately 12 billion liters across 59 production sites.
After our entry in North America with the acquisition of Whitlock Packaging only a year ago, I am very proud to be able to significantly enlarge our presence in this region and provide our customers access to an enhanced global network. The process is on track to close in the fourth quarter of this year, providing significant value creation opportunities for all of our stakeholders.”