Refresco Gerber will launch its IPO in the Netherlands in the coming weeks

Refresco Gerber will launch its IPO in the Netherlands in the coming weeks

Refresco Gerber has confirmed that it has chosen an IPO as its preferred method of creating “a new capital structure” to fund its growth plans.

The company, which bottles soft drinks and fruit juice for retail and branded customers, said earlier today that it will offer new shares to “institutional and retail investors in the Netherlands and to certain institutional investors in various other jurisdictions”. The offer will be followed by a second tranche comprising shares held by current stakeholders.

Today's announcement follows reports late last year that private equity group Blackstone was poised to make a move for the company.

Refresco Gerber's current shareholder base comprises 72.5% held by Refresco shareholders (an Icelandic consortium, private equity firm 3i and management), and 27.5% held by Gerber Emig's shareholders (Hanover Acceptances), following Refresco's purchase of Gerber Emig two years ago.

A date has not been set for the IPO, but the company will list on Euronext Amsterdam.

CEO Hans Roelofs said: “Over the last few months, we have been exploring the alternatives that will enable us to best capture the private label and contract manufacturing growth opportunities we see in our industry. Following a comprehensive review of all options, a stock exchange listing providing us full access to equity capital markets has proven to be the most logical step to support us in effectively implementing our strategy going forward.

“We look forward to the opportunities a listing on Euronext Amsterdam can bring.”

Separately, the firm posted its results for 2014 today, with sales jumping by 28% year-on-year to EUR2bn (US$2.24bn) on an 18% rise in volumes. The healthy numbers came from the consolidation of Gerber Emig, the purchase of which completed in late-2013. Stripping out the one-off, volumes last year dipped by 1%.

Refresco Gerber operates primarily in Western Europe, where its key markets include BeNeLux, Germany, France, the UK, Iberia and Italy.