Refresco to sell aseptic PET facility to address competition concerns

NETHERLANDS – Refresco’s remedy proposal to sell its aseptic PET facility in its acquisition of Cott’s bottling activities has been given a nod by the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

The acquisition of Cott’s bottling activities anticipated to complete on 30 January 2018 had faced uncertainties when CMA argued that the acquisition raised potential competition concerns in the United Kingdom for one specific category: juice drinks in PET using a special aseptic production process that allows them to be sold preservative-free and without refrigeration.

The combined company produces these products in only two factories, Bridgwater (Refresco) and Nelson (Cott) in the UK.

The sale of aseptic PET facility at the Nelson site was reached by Refresco’s in consultation from Cott as a remedy to CMA’s concerns.

Refresco has put Rabobank to the task of bidding for a suitable buyer of the facility.

After the complete acquisition, the integration will start its activities in other jurisdictions while in UK, the two companies will operate as separate entities until all the requirements are met.

“The acceptance of our remedy by the CMA is an important milestone on the path to completing this transformational acquisition of Cott’s bottling activities.

We continue to fully cooperate with the CMA and to search for a suitable buyer in order to deliver on the required remedies.

We will now focus on the next steps to completion and look forward to creating the world’s largest independent bottler with leadership positions across Europe and North America,” said Hans Roelofs CEO Refresco.

Earlier, the company CEO said that they were willing to propose remedies to the CMA to address their concerns.

The acquisition process had received clearance from the U.S. and Canadian regulatory authorities and overwhelming support from shareholders when CMA later raised their concerns.

“The initial investigation of the CMA did not find any competition concerns for most of our products. However, they have raised concerns for one specific product category produced by Refresco and Cott,” added Roelofs.

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