Germany: Krombacher buys bottling capacity for its non-alcoholic brands

The Krombacher Group, one of the leading beer and beverage groups in Germany, will take over Heil- und Mineralquellen Germete GmbH, based in Warburg, 135 km north-west of Krombach. The company wasfounded in 1922 and bottles around 200 million liters of mineral water and soft drinks every year. Its own mineral water brands include Germeta, Warburger Waldquell and Antonius. In addition, other beverage and private label brands are processed on site as part of contract bottling.

Seller is the Schäff-Group that operated the company in the last six years after buying it from private owners. Schäff that has a big private label business announced two weeks ago to close its mineral water plant Brandenburger Urstromquelle in Baruth that has about 3 times the size of the Warburg plant. The closure that will be effective July 31, 2022, became necessary after Schäff lost a major supply contract with Edeka, a nationwide supermarktchain, as it was not successful in demanding higher prices for its products.

However, according to people familiar with the matter, the sale of Germeta to Krombacher is not related to the lost Edeka deal. The company, which has been managed by Managing Director Thomas Grah for over 20 years, has not been very active in the private label business.

Krombacher plans to bottle its vast range of alcohol-free brands, including Schweppes, Dr. Pepper, Orangina and Proviant at Germeta. The company has a modern glass and three high-performance PET lines. So far, these brands have been filled by the third-party providers Franken Brunnen and Refresco.

In a press release Krombacher said not only to continue the Germeta location and brand business, but even expand it further. All 130 employees will be taken over and remain active at the site. The regional brands of Germete will continue to be looked after and distributed by the local management.

The takeover, effective August 1, 2022, is subject to an antitrust review.

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