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Refresco gets go-ahead for Cott Corp bottling purchase

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Refresco has cleared the final hurdle in its attempts to close the acquisition of Cott Corp's bottling assets.

Refresco initially announced the purchase of Cotts bottling assets in July

Refresco initially announced the purchase of Cott's bottling assets in July

Responding to "potential competition concerns" in the UK, voiced by the country's Competition & Markets Authority earlier this month, the European soft drinks group said today that a satisfactory solution has been found. Refresco will subsequently set in process the divestment of Cott's bottling facility in the north of England.

The CMA had flagged the possible domination by Refresco of "juice drinks in PET using a special aseptic production process that allows them to be sold preservative-free and without refrigeration".

"The acceptance of our remedy by the CMA is an important milestone on the path to completing this transformational acquisition of Cott's bottling activities," said Refresco CEO Hans Roelofs. "We continue to fully cooperate with the CMA and to search for a suitable buyer in order to deliver on the required remedies."

The US$1.25bn purchase, which the group claims will create the world's largest independent bottler, should now complete on 30 January.

Refresco is itself the subject of a takeover. Late last year, a consortium comprising PAI Partners and British Columbia Investment Management Corp reached an agreement to acquire the company in a deal worth EUR1.62bn (US$1.9bn).

What is Refresco buying from Cott Corp for US$1.25bn? - Click here for a just-drinks focus


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