Cott Announces UK Competition And Markets Authority Update Regarding The Sale Of Its Traditional Beverage Manufacturing Business To Refresco

Jan. 3, 2018

TORONTO and TAMPA, FL, Jan. 3, 2018 /PRNewswire/ - Cott Corporation (NYSE: COT; TSX:BCB) today announced a progress update on the United Kingdom ("UK") Competition Markets Authority ("CMA")  process in regards to its previously announced sale of its traditional beverage manufacturing business ("Cott Beverages") to Refresco (Euronext: RFRG) for USD $1.25 billion.  

Refresco has been informed by the CMA that the acquisition of Cott Beverages by Refresco raises potential competition concerns in the UK for one specific category, juice drinks in PET using a special aseptic production process that allows them to be sold preservative-free without refrigeration. In the UK, the combined company produces these products in only two factories, Bridgwater (Refresco) and Nelson (Cott). Refresco, in consultation with Cott, is currently examining the details of the decision and is willing to offer suitable remedies and will fully cooperate with the CMA to address the concerns raised. 

Commenting on today's announcement, Jerry Fowden, Chief Executive Officer of Cott, said "Other than the one product category produced by both Cott and Refresco, the CMA did not find any other competition concerns. With clearance already received from the U.S. and Canadian regulatory authorities, as well as overwhelming support from Refresco's shareholders, Refresco, in consultation with Cott, is willing to propose remedies to the CMA to address their concerns and work towards the successful completion of the acquisition." 


Cott is a route based service company with a leading volume-based national presence in the North America and European home and office bottled water delivery industry and a leader in custom coffee roasting, blending of iced tea, and extract solutions for the U.S. foodservice industry.  Our platform reaches over 2.3 million customers or delivery points across North America and Europe supported by strategically located sales and distribution facilities and fleets, as well as wholesalers and distributors.  This enables us to efficiently service residences, businesses, restaurant chains, hotels and motels, small and large retailers, and healthcare facilities. 


Refresco (Euronext:RFRG) is the leading independent bottler of soft drinks and fruit juices for retailers and A-brands with production in Benelux, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain, the UK and the US.  The company realized in 2016 full year volumes and revenues of circa 6.5 billion liters and circa €2.1 billion, respectively.  Refresco offers an extensive range of product and packaging combinations from 100% fruit juices to carbonated soft drinks and mineral waters in carton, PET, Aseptic PET, cans and glass.  Focused on innovation, Refresco continuously searches for new and alternative ways to improve the quality of its products and packaging combinations in line with consumer and customer demand, environmental responsibilities and market demand.  Refresco is headquartered in Rotterdam, the Netherlands and has about 5,500 employees.