Chilean bottling companies Cristalias de Chile and Embotelladora Andina announced a joint venture on July 25 to create a company to produce plastic bottles for 60% of the country's soft drink industry.

The agreement will combine Cristalias's Crowpla-Reicolite and Andina's Envase Multipack subsidiaries into Envases CMF. The companies will each own 50% of the new company.

In addition to soft drink bottles, Envases CMF will produce bottles for oils, dairy products, juices, mineral water, cleaning material and foods.

Cristalias and Andina expect CMF's future clients to include Coca-Cola, Vital, Watts, Johnson and Unilever y Corpora.

CMF is expected to require 25,000 tons of materials per year, which will produce some 600m bottles. CMF's new general manager, Cristian Larrain, said the company will invest in new equipment to use recycled materials for 38% of its products.

On the same day, Andina announced it expects to increase assets by US$4.5m after it pays out US$249m in bonds its Uruguayan subsidiary, Sterling Pacific Corp, issued in 1997.

The company made the decision to purchase the bonds as part of a strategy to restructure its debt and decrease risk caused by devaluation of the Chilean peso.