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European bottler Refresco rejects PAI Partners’ €1.4bn acquisition offer

Netherlands-based independent bottler Refresco Group has rejected a €1.4bn acquisition offer from French private equity buyout firm PAI Partners.

Refresco confirmed that it has secured an unsolicited, indicative and conditional proposal from PAI on 6 April to purchase all 81.2 million issued shares in the company.

The company has evaluated the proposal and decided to reject for protecting the interests of its stakeholders.

According to Refresco, the proposed terms and conditions did not merit any further investigation and have accordingly rejected the proposal.

Based in Rotterdam, Refresco is a bottler of soft drinks and fruit juices for retailers and A-brands.

With production in the Benelux, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain, the UK and the US, the company has generated €2.1bn revenue in 2016.

The company provides product and packaging combinations ranging from fruit juices to carbonated soft drinks and mineral waters in carton, PET, Aseptic PET, cans and glass.

Refresco, which has around 5,500 employees, has reported the full year volumes of 6.5 billion liters in the last year.

In July, 2016, Refresco Group agreed to acquire US-based bottler Whitlock Packaging for $129m.

Oklahoma-based Whitlock Packaging is a contract manufacturer of liquid refreshment beverages including fruit drinks, juices, isotonic beverages (sports drinks), iced teas, energy drinks and other product types. It operates three production facilities.

The acquisition of Whitlock Packaging allowed Refresco to enter North American market.