© Refresco/Richard Sinon
European bottler Refresco will take its first steps in the North American market by acquiring US-based Whitlock Packaging for $129 million.
The company’s first acquisition in North America, the deal marks the continued execution of Refresco’s “buy and build” strategy, which has added 900 million litres to its grou-wide and increased co-packing volumes to 34% of group total since the turn of the millennium.
The acquisition of a large-scale American bottler is Refresco’s first step towards expansion beyond Europe and creates a strong second platform for further growth in North America, the company said.
It intends to leverage its experience of developing a successful private-label business in Europe to further develop Whitlock Packaging’s private-label capabilities, and will contribute to Whitlock Packaging’s expansion with a focus on innovation, procurement, operational excellence and industry best practice.
Refresco CEO Hans Roelofs said: “For some time we have been carefully exploring opportunities to enter the North American market and create a second platform for growth. Whitlock Packaging provides a perfect strategic fit, as it is a market-leading player focused primarily on co-packing – an area of our business that we actively want to grow. Whitlock Packaging adds a new and exciting platform for growth for Refresco in North America. About 80% of the customers of Whitlock Packaging are already customers of Refresco in Europe. As such, Whitlock Packaging offers the opportunity to grow in a new market alongside existing customers, while offering them similar and reliable supply chain solutions as we do in Europe. I am delighted to welcome Whitlock Packaging to the Refresco Group and look forward to further developing our North American business together.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2022
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