Belfast Telegraph

Britvic thirsty for Brazil as it buys second drinks firm

By Sean Duffy

Soft drinks manufacturer Britvic has announced it will acquire Brazilian firm Bela Ischia Alimentos in a deal worth 218 million Brazilian reals (£54.5m). The deal is the latest example of Britvic's ambition to expand its international operations in the area of concentrates and juices.

It is the second acquisition the company has made in Brazil, following on from the 2015 purchase of Empresa Brasileira de Bebidas e Alimentos.

Britvic is the second largest provider of soft drinks in the UK and the company has a large Irish presence at its plant in Kylemore in Dublin.

The company's most recent revenues showed growth of 5.8%, to £131m.

The latest figures reveal that the company has now posted six consecutive quarters of growth.

Britvic chief executive Simon Litherland said: "The proposed acquisition of Bela Ischia represents an exciting opportunity to build on our very strong first year in Brazil with further expansion of our presence in a large and growing soft drinks market.

"Bela Ischia operates in a category where Britvic has proven capability of generating growth.

"We are confident that this complementary acquisition should create a fantastic platform to consolidate our strategic position in Brazil and generate additional shareholder value over the coming years," Mr Litherland added.

The company combines its own brand portfolio including Fruit Shoot, Robinsons, Tango, J2O, Teisseire and MiWadi with PepsiCo brands such as Pepsi, 7UP and Mountain Dew Energy.

Britvic said: "The consolidation of liquid concentrates and ready-to-drink juice will allow Britvic to strengthen its competitive offer, in particular against the larger powders brands.

"The acquisition is highly synergistic, with the combined businesses expected to realise substantial cost savings."

In November Britvic said it is ramping up cost-cutting plans as it warned 2017 would be another "challenging" year amid rising inflation from the Brexit-hit pound.

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