Stay current on the latest developments from agencies including the CFPB, Federal Reserve, FDIC, and OCC to advise clients on real-life regulatory situations.
Refresco Group N.V. said an initial review by U.K. antitrust authorities of its $1.25 billion purchase of rival soft drink bottler Cott Corp. Inc. turned up competition concerns in only one market.
Refresco said the purchase will create the world’s largest independent bottler with leadership positions across Europe and North America. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said Jan. 3 that it will open an in-depth investigation into the transaction’s potential impact on competition in the U.K. But the company said the same day that a workable remedy to the U.K.'s competition concerns should be possible.
Refresco said that CMA’s concerns impact only juice drinks packed using a special aseptic process that allows them to be sold preservative-free and without refrigeration. The combined companies produce these products in only two factories in the U.K., one owned by each.
The deal has already cleared the U.S. and Canadian authorities. Refresco CEO Hans Roelofs said, “We are willing to propose remedies to the CMA to address this specific issue and put us on the right track to also obtain clearance in the U.K.”
Refresco, a large bottler based in the Netherlands, has been expanding into new regions mainly through acquisition of competitors.
It entered the North American market just a year ago through its $129 million purchase of Whitlock Packaging. The deal, completed in September 2016, had substantial customer overlap with Refresco’s European customer base. More than 80 percent of Whitlock Packaging’s volumes were for customers Refresco served in Europe.
The Cott purchase further expands Refresco’s North American reach along with growing its U.K. production. Whitlock’s facilities are in Oklahoma, Florida, and New Jersey. Cott, based in Mississauga, Ontario, will add 19 production sites in the U.S., four in Canada, one in Mexico, and five in the U.K., the company said.
Refresco is also in transition. PAI Partners SAS and British Columbia Investment Management Corp. announced a tender offer for Refresco at 20 euros a share in October. The funds, acting jointly through Sunshine Investments B.V., support Refresco’s “buy-and-build strategy,” including the Cott acquisition, the company said in a statement recommending that shareholders tender their shares for the offer.
When Refresco and Cott announced their deal in late July, they expected to close by the end of 2017. The companies have not provided a new timeline for closing. Refresco’s shareholders approved the deal in September.
To contact the reporter on this story: Eleanor Tyler in Washington at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Fawn Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2018 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)