British-Dutch food giant Unilever has sold its Latin American soy drink branch to Coca-Cola for 575 million dollars. The Americans hope to counter stagnant soda sales with non-sparkling drinks.
An addition 250 million euro turnover
The sale of AdeS, which manufactures soy-based milk and juice drinks in Argentina, Brazil and Mexico, is not really considered a surprise. At the start of this year, Unilever CEO Paul Polman already declared the company was looking to get rid of divisions that showed no signs of recovery in 2016. Unilever acquired control over AdeS in 2000, when it bought American Bestfoods.
Alongside its South American bottling plant Coca-Cola Femsa, the Atlanta-based giant paid 514 million euro for AdeS, a company with a 2015 turnover of 284 million dollars (253.8 million euro).
Growth increase in non-sparkling drinks
Thanks to AdeS, Coca-Cola can add soy drinks to its product range of non-sparkling drinks, currently filled with water, fruit juices and sports drinks. "Over the past 15 years, those brands have contributed an increasingly large share, coming from a 1-digit percentage to more than 25 %", Coca-Cola COO, James Quincey, said earlier this year. "We expect even faster growth in the future and we will look towards additional acquisitions to speed up that growth."
Coca-Cola's first quarter sales stagnated when it comes to its "classic" sodas, while its non-sparkling drink sales grew 7 %.