US – World’s largest independent bottler of beverages Refresco has entered into an agreement to acquire three production facilities belonging to the Coca-Cola company in the US to expand its North American manufacturing footprint.
According to a report by FoodBev, the transaction includes three hot-fill production plants – in Truesdale, Missouri, Waco, Texas, and Paw Paw, Michigan.
As part of the deal, the Netherlands-based bottler will become one of The Coca-Cola Company’s third-party contract manufacturers in the US.
Outsourcing bottling operations to independent companies has been the historic strength of the tiered US bottling system: sharing responsibility (and risk) across the supply chain.
The maker of Coke and Sprite carbonated soft drink brands has long preferred this model as it gets to largely retain control over beverage production, sacrificing some margin but satisfying investors by reducing its direct exposure to the volatility of distribution costs.
“The ongoing trend of A-brands outsourcing their production capabilities continues to provide opportunities for us as an independent beverage solutions provider,” said Hans Roelofs, CEO of Refresco.
“With manufacturing and supply chain being at the heart of our business, the acquisition of three Coca-Cola facilities in the US is another step forward in our growth strategy.”
Refresco says that the planned acquisition will improve its proximity to its existing customer base and expand its technological capabilities.
“Adding three hot-fill production sites to our footprint is a great opportunity to further enhance our offering,” said Brad Goist, COO Refresco North America.
“I am convinced that our retail and A-brand customers across North America will be able to benefit from our extended capabilities and broadened geographical footprint.”
As part of its buy-and-build strategy, Refresco entered into an agreement to acquire Hansa-Heemann, a German mineral water and carbonated soft drinks (CSD) company.
The deal announced in July is expected to further enhance the company’s position in terms of product and brand portfolio and geographical coverage.
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