CANADA – Leading beverage manufacturer, Refresco Group has acquired the concentrate manufacturing business of Canada based beverage and foodservice company, Cott Corporation.

The transaction whose details remain undisclosed, RCI International division, which Refresco has agreed to sell to RC Global Beverages Inc.

With the divestment, Cott is moving out of the carbonated soft drinks operations.

In January 2018, the company sold its soft drinks business to Refresco for US$1.25 billion, making Refresco become the largest independent bottler in Europe and North America.

This brought Refresco’s production capacity to approximately 12 billion litres annually, with the combined business operating 59 manufacturing facilities located in Europe, USA, Canada, UK and Mexico.

“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 center 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,” said Hans Roelofs, CEO Refresco.

Cott had earlier noted that it was unable to effectively compete in the soda market dominated by Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Nestlé Waters North America and Dr. Pepper Snapple.

The company looks to focus on its water and coffee solutions businesses, a segment that is quickly growing given healthier choices.

“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,” said Tom Harrington, Cott’s Chief Executive Officer.

In October 2018, the company acquired US water brand The Mountain Valley Spring Company for US$75.8 million.