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CANADA/US: Cott Corp prepares debt exchange, defends Q3 volumes

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Cott Corporation, the private label soft drinks giant, has released more details of a plan to raise US$200m to pay off debt.

Cott Corp said yesterday (3 November) that it expects to raise US$212m by offering $215m in senior notes to qualified institutional investors.

The new notes will have an annual interest rate of 8.375%, payable semi-annually, and will mature on 15 November 2017.

Proceeds from the move will be used to pay off a portion of company debt due in 2011.

Cott Corp last week reported a return to profit in the third quarter of 2009, despite a slip in net sales.

In the group's results conference call late last week, CEO Jerry Fowden said that the fourth quarter is likely to show the same dynamics as the first three.

"As we move into early next year, we would hope to see certain channels and geographies pick up," he said.

Fowden defended a 4% volume sales decline in North America during the quarter.

"We're trying to take the right balance between price and volume," he said. "The fact that our volume performance is where it is, when the average [price] of all our competitors dropped $0.10 per 12-pack and ours remained unchanged, puts that performance into perspective."


Sectors: Soft drinks, Water

Companies: Cott Corporation

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