The Canadian soft drinks producers, Cott Corp., which specialises in the production of own label products, has announced that it is taking a 90% stake in a bottling venture in Mexico.

Cott Embotelladores de Mexico SA de CV has been formed in partnership with the privately-owned Mexican own label supplier, Embotelladora de Puebla SA de CV, but the Canadian group will manage the unit. The financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

The company will produce own label soft drinks for several Mexican grocery chains including Comercial Mexicana, Chedraui and Wal-Mart, and will be headed up by Gilbert Arvizu, formerly a vice-president at Cott's US subsidiary.

"Entry into Mexico is strategically very important to Cott," said Cott CEO, Frank Weise. "This new alliance presents us with the opportunity to become a strong player in an exciting market." With a population of almost 100m, Mexico is the second largest consumer of carbonated soft drinks in the world.