Refresco’s acquisition of Cott cleared, creating largest independent soft drinks bottler in Europe and N. America

Deal worth $1.25 billion creates a combined businesses operating 59 manufacturing plants globally, including over 30 sites in Europe.

Refresco’s acquisition of Cott has been conditionally cleared by the CMA.  The merging parties were two of the largest UK suppliers of bottled carbonated soft drinks to supermarkets for private labels and contract manufacturing for brands in the UK, a market in total worth around £7 billion annually. Refresco was also a recent entrant to the UK, having won significant business from Cott. The analysis focused on the bidding of both parties and the strength of competition between the two.

The CMA found an SLC in the UK supply of aseptically-filled juices, a market worth less than £15 million. The merging parties were able to address the CMA’s concerns with the offer to divest one of their plants.

A CRA team led by Simon Chisholm and including Kotryna Drasutyte and Richard Havell advised the merging parties.

For more details on the case see the CMA’s press release here.