Sunny Delight Investing in North America

December 12/Daily the Pak Banker -- Sunny Delight Beverages Co. (SDBC) announced that it is investing more than $70 million to upgrade all five of its North American manufacturing facilities and data systems and to acquire a plant in Sherman, Texas. The company also announced the pending sale of its Western European Sunny Delight juice drink business to Orangina Schweppes, a leading fruit drink firm in Western Europe, and a company of the Suntory Group. Terms of this transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval, were not disclosed. The proceeds from this sale will enable SDBC to be debt-free and to focus its resources on growing its much larger and more diversified North American business.

SDBC has signed an agreement to purchase The J. M. Smucker Company's plant in Sherman, Texas. Terms of the purchase were not disclosed. SDBC is working with the Sherman Economic Development Corporation (SEDCO) on incentives. SDBC has been leasing space at the site since 2004 to produce its SunnyD brand. The J. M. Smucker Company will continue to produce its Folgers coffee brand at the site until April 2011.

"The North American supply chain and data system upgrades, and our purchase of the Sherman plant, will improve corporate profitability, manufacturing efficiency, and our environmental footprint," said Ellen Iobst, senior vice president of manufacturing and technology. "Specifically, this investment will lower our costs via 'no touch,' robotic warehousing at each site and will further enhance our sustainability efforts through upgraded, consumer preferred packages that require less material and energy to produce. The result will be more highly efficient beverage operations across North America better capable of producing our seven brands and meeting our retailers' and consumers' needs," added Iobst.

SDBC produces its beverages at sites in Anaheim, CA; Sherman, Texas, Atlanta, GA, South Brunswick, NJ and Littleton, MA.

From the December 14, 2010, Prepared Foods' Daily News
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