Juice and soda bottling company from Rotterdam, Refresco, has a new owner: PAI Partners. The French investment firm and British Columbia Investment Management will pay 20 euro per share, which results in a 1.62 billion euro acquisition fee.
Third time’s the charm
The French have finally succeeded in landing Refresco, after it had targeted it for acquisition quite some time ago. Refresco is Europe’s largest soda and juice manufacturer and ships to Aldi, Lidl and also provides many other supermarkets with private labels. The investment firm allegedly bid 1.5 billion euro in 2015, but owner 3i preferred to take the company public.
PAI returned with a new bid in April 2017, but its 1.4 billion euro bid was turned down. Backed by Canadian British Columbia Investment Management, it has now offered 1.6 billion euro, which was enough to get Refresco’s owners to the table. This has now led to a deal: Refresco will get a new French-Canadian owner for 1.623 billion euro. The company’s board and its three largest shareholders (3i, Ferskur and Tamoa represent 26.5 % of shares) all accepted the bid.
3.3 billion euro
The deal, which values the company at 3.3 billion euro, should be finalized in 2018’s first quarter. The company does have quite some debt considering its recent own acquisition in recent years. Its most recent purchase, Refresco’s largest, to acquire American bottling company Cott, was entirely financed through debt.
Refresco is active in the Benelux, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. The group employs 5,500 people and bottled nearly 6.5 billion liters of soda and juices. Its turnover, including Cott, reaches nearly 3.6 billion euro.
The company has four locations in the Benelux: three in the Netherlands (Maarheeze, Bodegraven and Hoensbroek) and one in Belgium (Ninove). Refresco Benelux has 650 employees and fills more than 1 billion liters every year, spread across 2.2 billion packages in cans, cardboard and plastic.