Netherlands/Germany: Refresco takes a big swig

Refresco, the world's largest independent bottler for retailers and A-brands in Europe and North America, today announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire Hansa-Heemann. "The transfer of the shares is subject to official approvals," says a press statement. "Until the sale of the shares is approved, both companies will continue their day-to-day business independently of one another."

Hansa-Heemann, headquartered in Rellingen, Germany, is a family-owned, independent beverage manufacturer with five production sites spread across Germany. In terms of volume, it is the third largest German beverage manufacturer behind Coca-Cola and MEG (Schwarz Group).  The vast majority of Hansa-Heemann’s volume (60%) is in mineral water (Hella, Fürst Bismarck und St. Michaelis), with the remaining 40% of its volume in carbonated soft drinks. The company serves three different market segments: private label, own brands, and contract manufacturing for A-brands. Hansa-Heemann employs over 800 people with an annual revenue of approximately €300 million.

Refresco’s history began in 1999 when Menken Beverages, the predecessor of Refresco, was founded with a management buyout from a major Dutch dairy group. The Refresco Group, based in Rotterdam, has since expanded rapidly and acts as a consolidator of the industry. It has today an annual turnover of four billion euros.

“Refresco Germany and Hansa-Heemann are highly complementary and through this acquisition, we will be able to offer nationwide coverage to German retailers,” said Mr. Hans Roelofs, CEO Refresco Group. “Our companies are a great fit and Hansa-Heemann’s expertise and capabilities will allow us to further improve our operational excellence. In addition, this acquisition will further diversify our business and product offering, which will benefit our customers,” he added.

“It is a promising opportunity for our family business to join Refresco as it will enable the Hansa-Heemann team to apply their knowledge and expertise with more impact, at a much bigger scale. Our combined capabilities will accelerate our ambitions and further enhance our offering to customers,” said Mr. Wolff Lange, Chairman of Hansa-Heemann’s Supervisory Board.

The Lange family is one of the wealthiest families in Northern Germany. After disposing of Hansa-Heemann, the Lange family still holds major interests in Jungheinrich AG, a German company active in the material handling equipment, warehousing and material flow engineering sectors and best known for its forklift trucks. Hansa-Heemann’s  chairman Wolff Lange is a grandson of Friedrich Jungheinrich who founded the company in 1953.

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