TORONTO and TAMPA, FL, Jan. 17, 2018 /CNW/ - Cott Corporation (NYSE:COT; TSX:BCB) today announced that the United Kingdom ("UK") Competition and Markets Authority ("CMA") has today accepted in principle the remedy offered by Refresco on January 10, 2018 in regards to Cott's previously announced sale of its traditional beverage manufacturing business ("Cott Beverages") to Refresco (Euronext: RFRG) for USD $1.25 billion.
On January 3, 2018, Refresco was informed by the CMA that the acquisition of Cott Beverages by Refresco raised potential competition concerns in the UK for one specific product category, namely "from concentrate" juice drinks in PET using a special aseptic production process that allows them to be sold preservative-free without refrigeration (APET). In the UK, the combined company produces these products in only two factories, Bridgwater (Refresco) and Nelson (Cott).
Refresco, in consultation with Cott, offered a remedy that principally consisted of the sale to a suitable purchaser of the APET facility at the Nelson site to address the concerns raised by the CMA. Refresco has appointed Rabobank to lead the sales process. Following the closing of the transaction, which Refresco anticipates will occur on January 30, 2018, Refresco will be required to hold the Cott UK operations separately until all CMA requirements are met, while the other jurisdictions will begin integration shortly after the closing.
Commenting on today's announcement, Jerry Fowden, Chief Executive Officer of Cott, said "We are excited to move forward in this process. With Refresco announcing their expectation to close on the transaction at the end of January, we will soon have a much stronger balance sheet and we can fully dedicate our focus on the growth and expansion of our route based services business in water, coffee, tea and filtration solutions."
ABOUT COTT CORPORATION
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.
ABOUT REFRESCO CORPORATION
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.
Safe Harbor Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 conveying management's expectations as to the future based on plans, estimates and projections at the time Cott makes the statements. Forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties and Cott cautions you that a number of important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any such forward-looking statement. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release include, but are not limited to the anticipated timing of the transaction. The forward-looking statements are based on assumptions regarding management's current plans and estimates. Management believes these assumptions to be reasonable but there is no assurance that they will prove to be accurate.
Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in this press release include, among others: the satisfaction of the conditions to the transaction and other risks related to the completion of the transaction and actions related thereto
The foregoing list of factors is not exhaustive. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. Readers are urged to carefully review and consider the various disclosures, including but not limited to risk factors contained in Cott's Annual Report on Form 10-K and its quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, as well as other filings with the securities commissions. Cott does not undertake to update or revise any of these statements in light of new information or future events, except as expressly required by applicable law.
SOURCE Cott Corporation