The Coca-Cola Co. and its Latin American bottler have joined forces in a deal to buy Jugos del Valle, one of the continent's largest fruit juice producers.

Coke and Coca-Cola FEMSA have agreed to buy Jugos del Valle in a deal that could be worth up to US$470m.

The two companies said last night (19 December) they would buy all shares in Jugos del Valle for US$380m and take on debt worth up to US$90m.

The deal will boost Coke's presence in the fruit juice sector in Latin America. Jugos del Valle is Brazil's largest producer of fruit juices and is number two in Mexico. For the year to 30 September, Jugos del Valle generated around US$440m in revenues.

Coke and Coke FEMSA said they plan to create a jointly-owned entity that will buy the shares in Jugos del Valle.

"This joint venture represents a formidable platform to further develop our non-carbonated business, in a segment that is growing three times faster than other non-alcoholic beverages," said Coke FEMSA chief executive Carlos Salázar.

José Octavio Reyes, Coke's president in Latin America added: "This new acquisition will be integrated into a go-to-market strategy that will benefit our bottlers in the regions where Jugos del Valle is present. By working with our bottlers, we intend to maximize the growth value of the acquisition."