Cott Corporation has announced the sale of its soft drink concentrate production business and its RCI International division to Refresco for $50 million.
The transaction follows Refresco’s acquisition of Cott’s bottling business in January 2018 – a $1.25 billion deal which created the largest independent bottler in Europe and North America with a combined production volume of approximately 12 billion litres.
Refresco said it has simultaneously sold the RCI International division to holding company RC Global Beverages.
Tom Harrington, who was appointed Cott CEO last year, said: “This transaction is the final step in the transformation of our business where selling the remaining business unit of the traditional carbonated soft drinks business is consistent with our strategy of accelerating the growth across our platform in water, coffee, tea, extracts and filtration solutions.
“We want to thank all the associates of Cott Beverages LLC for their contributions and wish them well as they rejoin their former traditional bottling business colleagues and become a part of Refresco.”
Hans Roelofs, CEO Refresco, added: “We are pleased to add Cott’s Columbus concentrate manufacturing facility to Refresco North America. It adds extensive innovation capabilities and skills and creates a global centre of excellence for beverage concentrate manufacturing. It is a perfect fit with our business.
“We have decided to divest the RCI International branded activities and find an owner who can bring similar focus and continuity to this iconic brand. With RC Global Beverages Inc, we believe we have found an excellent match. The sale of Columbus from Cott to Refresco and the sale of the RCI International activities from Refresco to RC Global Beverages Inc took place simultaneously.”
The deal sees Cott effectively divest all its carbonated soft drinks operations.
In its 2016 annual report, Cott noted that “four major national non-alcoholic beverage companies – Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Nestlé Waters North America and Dr. Pepper Snapple – control 60.8% of the total CSD and alternative beverage category within the United States”.
It suggested, with much of its business elsewhere, it was unable to compete effectively in the soft drinks category.
The company now aims to grow its water and coffee solutions businesses. Last year, it acquired The Mountain Valley Spring Company through its DS Services subsidiary for $75.8 million.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2022
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