Refresco purchase of Cott moves forward

Shareholders of Refresco gave approval to the $1.25 billion Cott purchase, which includes the Dunkirk site.

Special to the OBSERVER

TORONTO — Cott Corp. announced this morning that the shareholders of Refresco Group N.V. have approved the previously announced acquisition of Cott’s traditional beverage manufacturing business for $1.25 billion in cash.

The transaction includes Cott’s North America, United Kingdom and Mexico traditional businesses (excluding the RCI International division and its associated concentrate facility as well as the Aimia Foods division).

“We are pleased with the Refresco shareholders’ vote in favor of the transaction,” commented Jerry Fowden, Cott’s chief executive officer. “This vote brings us one step closer to completing the sale of our traditional business, and I am excited about the growth opportunities that lie ahead for our water, coffee, tea and filtration services businesses.”

The acquisition is expected to close by the end of 2017, subject to the satisfaction of the remaining closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.

When the acquisition was announced in late July, area officials were upbeat about the future of Cott’s Dunkirk location.

“This is a good thing for the Dunkirk plant as Refresco has a very strong balance sheet and they’re investing in North America with the intentions to grow the business in North America. This is positive news for the employees at the Dunkirk plant,” said Kevin Sanvidge, administrative director and chief executive officer of the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency.

About 450 are employed at Cott in Dunkirk.