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PAI, BC Investment to Buy Bottler Refresco for $1.9 Billion

  • PAI Partners and British Columbia Investment Management Corp. agreed to buy Dutch soft-drink bottler Refresco Group NV for 1.6 billion euros ($1.9 billion) after an activist shareholder pressured the company to reconsider a sale.The buyers will pay 20 euros a share in cash, Refresco and British Columbia Investment said in a…
  • Acquisition StrategyThe offer is 22 percent above Refresco’s average closing share price since the July announcement of the Cott deal, and 41 percent higher than where the stock traded before PAI’s initial offer in April, the buyers said.
  • PAI, British Columbia Investment and Refresco said they remain committed to the company’s “buy-and-build” strategy of growing through acquisitions.
  • The purchase will create the largest independent bottler for retailers and consumer companies in Europe and North America, Refresco said at the time.Following the purchase of the Cott business, PAI decided to bring in BC Investment Management, which is an investor in some of its funds, on a new bid…
  • BC Investment Management, based in Victoria, British Columbia, invests pension funds for public employees in the Canadian province.Refresco, based in Rotterdam, was founded in 1999 through a management buyout of a Dutch dairy company and expanded by buying local bottlers in Europe.

PAI Partners and British Columbia Investment Management Corp. agreed to buy Dutch soft-drink bottler Refresco Group NV for 1.6 billion euros ($1.9 billion) after an activist shareholder pressured the company to reconsider a sale.

PAI Partners and British Columbia Investment Management Corp. agreed to buy Dutch soft-drink bottler Refresco Group NV for 1.6 billion euros ($1.9 billion) after an activist shareholder pressured the company to reconsider a sale.The buyers will pay 20 euros a share in cash, Refresco and British Columbia Investment said in a statement Wednesday. That’s higher than the 19.75 euro-a-share proposal with which PAI convinced the Dutch company to open talks this month. Refresco in April rejected a 1.4 billion-euro bid from the Paris-based private equity firm, only for activist Wyser-Pratte Management Co. to urge it to restart talks. The bid is another win in the recent wave of shareholder activism in Europe as companies from Nestle SA to Credit Suisse Group AG confront demands for strategy shifts. Wyser-Pratte also opposed the Dutch company’s takeover of Cott Corp.’s soda business, saying it was putting up obstacles to prevent being acquired.

“We are convinced that this is a good transaction for the company and all stakeholders involved,” Refresco Chief Executive Officer Hans Roelofs said in the statement. “Our focus of growing alongside our customers in the markets where we currently operate and expanding geographically remains unchanged.”Refresco shares rose 2.4 percent to 19.77 euros at 11:45 a.m. in Amsterdam. Before Wednesday, the stock had risen 33 percent since the company’s initial public offering in 2015.Acquisition StrategyThe offer is 22 percent above Refresco’s average closing share price since the July announcement of the Cott deal,…

PAI, BC Investment to Buy Bottler Refresco for $1.9 Billion

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