Furthers International Growth Strategy with Product Diversification in Fast-Growing Mexican Market
TORONTO, CANADA--(Aug. 22, 2007) -
(All information in U.S. dollars)
Cott Corporation (NYSE:COT)(TSX:BCB), the world's largest retailer brand soft drink provider, announced today that its Mexican business has acquired the assets of the El Riego Company in Tehuacan, Puebla along with rights to its spring water source, for $2.1 million.
The El Riego assets will provide production capabilities in the fast growing non-carbonated beverage segments new to Cott in Mexico. Cott's Mexican portfolio of mostly carbonated soft drinks has experienced strong double-digit volume growth over the past three years. This acquisition will enable the Company to increase its offerings in one of the fastest-growing beverage categories. The El Riego acquisition will also facilitate the Company's plans to expand its geographic presence in the Mexican market.
"This is a small but strategic acquisition for Cott," said Wynn Willard, President, International. "In keeping with our international business strategy, the El Riego operation is a prudent investment that will greatly improve our ability to service our customers with an expanded portfolio of high-growth beverages."
Cott has been expanding its share of the retailer brand soft drinks industry in Mexico and currently supplies most major players in this important market. The Company is enhancing its capabilities to serve the down-the-street business, the many small outlets which still represent the biggest share of the Mexican beverage market.
"We're very excited about the opportunity to expand our business in new growth categories across a broader geography in Mexico," commented Julio Cesar Hernandez Melean, Managing Director of Cott Mexico. "Cott has been increasing its momentum in Mexico and this acquisition will help us broaden the portfolio of offerings to our retailer partners. We are building strong relationships with leading retailers in Mexico and we expect that the acquisition of El Riego will enable us to continue to grow our business with them."
The El Riego operation includes two bottling lines with capabilities in both PET and glass. The water source is one of Mexico's oldest and most renowned, producing mineral water, still water and flavored beverages.
"This acquisition in Mexico is one more step in our strategy of building momentum behind our more profitable and faster-growing international business. I am proud of our Mexican management team and their early successes addressing the needs of our retailer partners," added Brent Willis, CEO of Cott Corporation.
About Cott Corporation
Cott Corporation is one of the world's largest non-alcoholic beverage companies and the world's largest retailer brand soft drink company. The Company commercializes its business in over 60 countries worldwide, with its principal markets being the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Mexico. Cott markets or supplies over 200 retailer and licensed brands, and Company-owned brands including Cott, RC, Vintage, Vess and So Clear. Its products include carbonated soft drinks, sparkling and flavored waters, energy drinks, sports drinks, juices, juice drinks and smoothies, ready-to-drink teas, and other non-carbonated beverages. The Company's website is www.cott.com. The brand names and trademarks referenced in this press release are trademarks of Cott Corporation, its affiliated companies, our customers, or other third parties.
Safe Harbor Statements
This press release contains or refers to forward-looking statements reflecting management's current expectations regarding future results of operations, economic performance, financial condition and achievements of the Company. The forward-looking statements are based on 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. Forward-looking statements, specifically those concerning future performance such as those relating to the success of the Company's measures to increase volume and revenue, expand business, obtain capacity increases, and introduce new products are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, and actual results may differ materially. These risks and uncertainties are detailed from time to time in the Company's filings with the appropriate securities commissions, and include, without limitation, stability of procurement costs for raw and packaging materials, the Company's ability to restore plant efficiencies and reduce logistics and other costs, adverse weather conditions, competitive activities by other brand beverage manufacturers, the Company's ability to develop new products that appeal to consumer tastes, the Company's ability to identify acquisition candidates, successfully consummate acquisitions and integrate acquired businesses into its operations, fluctuations in currency versus the U.S. dollar, the uncertainties of litigation and regulatory review, loss of key customers and retailers' continued commitment to their Company-supplied beverage programs. The foregoing list of factors is not exhaustive. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements.