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Europe: Bottler acquires North American company

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European bottler of soft drinks and fruit juices Refresco Group has agreed to acquire US-based bottler Whitlock Packaging for US$129 million on a debt and cash free basis, thereby entering the North American market.

Refresco says it has established its leading position in Europe over the past 16 years through the successful execution of its buy and build strategy.

Refresco intends to continue executing its buy & build strategy both in Europe and North America by making selective investments and acquisitions, and targeting value-creating opportunities.

The acquisition of Whitlock Packaging is the first step towards establishing a similar market position in North America as Refresco has achieved in Europe, with comparable returns.