The El Riego assets will provide production capabilities in the fast growing non-carbonated beverage segments new to Cott in Mexico. Cott's Mexican portfolio of mostly carbonated soft drinks has experienced strong double-digit volume growth over the past three years. This acquisition will enable the Company to increase its offerings in one of the fastest-growing beverage categories. The El Riego acquisition will also facilitate the Company's plans to expand its geographic presence in the Mexican market.
"This is a small but strategic acquisition for Cott," said Wynn Willard, president, International. "In keeping with our international business strategy, the El Riego operation is a prudent investment that will greatly improve our ability to service our customers with an expanded portfolio of high-growth beverages."
Cott has been expanding its share of the retailer brand soft drinks industry in Mexico and currently supplies most major players in this important market. The company is enhancing its capabilities to serve the down-the-street business, the many small outlets which still represent the biggest share of the Mexican beverage market.
"We're very excited about the opportunity to expand our business in new growth categories across a broader geography in Mexico," commented Julio Cesar Hernandez Melean, managing director of Cott Mexico. "Cott has been increasing its momentum in Mexico and this acquisition will help us broaden the portfolio of offerings to our retailer partners. We are building strong relationships with leading retailers in Mexico and we expect that the acquisition of El Riego will enable us to continue to grow our business with them."
The El Riego operation includes two bottling lines with capabilities in both PET and glass. The water source is one of Mexico's oldest and most renowned, producing mineral water, still water and flavored beverages.
"This acquisition in Mexico is one more step in our strategy of building momentum behind our more profitable and faster-growing international business. I am proud of our Mexican management team and their early successes addressing the needs of our retailer partners," added Brent Willis, CEO of Cott Corporation.
From the August 27, 2007, Prepared Foods e-Flash