Netherlands/Australia: Refresco strikes twice

The Netherlands-based Refresco Group B.V., one of the world's largest independent beverage manufacturers, continues its shopping spree and announced two major acquisitions in the last three days.

On Tuesday, Lucas Bols and De Kuyper Royal Distillers said to have entered into an agreement to sell their alcoholic beverage business Avandis to Refresco for EUR 25 million.

Based in Zoetermeer, the Netherlands, Avandis is owned in equal share by Lucas Bols and De Kuyper as part of a joint venture established in 2001. “The acquisition of Avandis offers a range of contract manufacturing solutions to brand owners in the alcohol industry, as well as having one of “Europe’s most advanced” bottling facilities for distilled beverages,” according to an official statement.

As part of the deal, Refresco entered into a long-term manufacturing agreement with both Lucas Bols and De Kuyper to invest and expand the Avandis business.

On Friday, only three days later, Refresco announced it had entered into another agreement to acquire Tru Blu Beverages Pty Ltd., one of Australia’s leading manufacturers of non-alcoholic beverages, for an undisclosed sum.

Tru Blu Beverages is the No. 3 non-alcoholic, non-dairy beverage manufacturer in Australia and operates three manufacturing sites across the country. According to its own statements, one in six beverages purchased by Australian consumers through supermarkets is made by Tru Blu Beverages.

A press release said, the acquisition “creates a new platform for Refresco, in line with [its] strategic promise to expand into a third continent.” So far Refresco’s production platform includes over 70 majority-owned manufacturing sites in Europe, the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

 “The acquisition of Tru Blu Beverages expands Refresco's addressable market and provides opportunities to leverage Refresco’s size and scale, as well as its track record of successfully integrating companies. Tru Blu Beverages fits right into Refresco’s business model, with its wide range of beverage solutions for retailer brands and global, national and emerging brands,“ the statement continues.

CEO Tru Blu Beverages, Peter Brooks, adds: “Tru Blu Beverages’ leading capabilities and blue-chip customer base gives Refresco a solid entrance into the Australian market. We look forward to building an even stronger platform together.”

Lucas Bols CEO, Huub van Doorne, commented on the transaction from Tuesday: “We are confident that Refresco offers the best environment for Avandis to thrive. The transaction allows us to fully focus on our core activity: creating great cocktail experiences around the globe. We will benefit from Refresco’s size, scale and expertise in manufacturing beverages as our brands will continue to be manufactured by Avandis under the new ownership.”

In February 2022, KKR, a leading global investment firm, signed a definitive agreement to acquire a majority stake in Refresco which valued the bottler at about EUR 7 billion euros (USD 7.9 bn) at that time. (, 22.02.2022)

The Refresco Group, based in Rotterdam, has since its beginnings 23 years ago rapidly expanded and acts as a consolidator of the industry. Last year it first acquired Hansa-Heeman, a major German mineral water and CSD company (, 8.7.2021) and one month later Southeast Bottling & Beverage (SEBB), a ready to drink manufacturer and according to its website “the leader in the beverage co-packing industry” based in Dade City, Florida. Also in August 2021, Refrecso entered into an agreement with The Coca-Cola Company to buy three production facilities in the United States. (, 5.8.2021). Today, the company employs more than 10,000 employees.

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