Rotterdam, the Netherlands - 5 September, 2017. Refresco Group N.V. (Euronext: RFRG) today announced that its shareholders have approved the acquisition of Cott's bottling activities during an Extraordinary Shareholders Meeting held today. With this transformational acquisition, right at the heart of Refresco's buy and build strategy, the company creates the world's largest independent bottler with leadership positions across Europe and North America.
78.9% of all outstanding ordinary shares were represented at the meeting. The resolution to approve (within the meaning of Section 2:107a of the Dutch Civil Code) the acquisition was adopted by 99.5% of the votes cast. With this approval an important step is taken towards closing of the transaction, which is expected to take place in the 4th quarter of 2017, subject to the satisfaction of the remaining closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.
CEO Refresco, Hans Roelofs: "The bottling activities of Cott are a perfect strategic fit to our current activities. With this acquisition, we create a nationwide coverage in the US, the largest single soft drinks market globally, while adding significant capacity and extending our broad product portfolio in the UK. It is a unique, transformational transaction marking a step change in the industry. It reinforces our position as leading independent bottler for retailers and A-brands, creating a company with combined production volumes of approximately 12 billion liters across 59 production sites.
After our entry in North America with the acquisition of Whitlock Packaging only a year ago, I am very proud to be able to significantly enlarge our presence in this region and provide our customers access to an enhanced global network. The process is on track to close in the fourth quarter of this year, providing significant value creation opportunities for all of our stakeholders."