TORONTO–(HISPANIC PR WIRE – BUSINESS WIRE)–June 21, 2002–In a move which will expand its manufacturing and marketing capabilities into Mexico, Cott Corporation (NASDAQ:COTT)(TSX:BCB) today announced it is acquiring a 90% stake in a new venture, to be managed by Cott, which is being formed with Mexican bottler Embotelladora de Puebla, S.A. de C.V. (EPSA).
“Entry into Mexico is strategically very important to Cott,” said Frank E. Weise, Cott chairman, president and chief executive officer. “This new alliance presents us with the opportunity to become a strong player in an exciting market that has a population of approximately 100 million, and the second highest per capita consumption of carbonated soft drinks in the world.”
Headquartered in the city of Puebla, approximately 2 hours southeast of Mexico City, the privately-owned EPSA traces its roots back more than 40 years as a beverage bottler and marketer in Mexico and a leading supplier of retailer brand carbonated soft drinks there.
Under the terms of the deal, which were not disclosed, the new venture, Cott Embotelladores de Mexico, S.A. de C.V., will manufacture retailer brand soft drinks for several grocery retailers in Mexico including Comercial Mexicana, Chedraui and Wal-Mart.
Weise said, “This initiative underlines our goal of providing world-class products and service to global customers. It also allows us to share our expertise in retailer branded beverages with an array of potential new customers in the growing Mexican market.”
Leading the new venture will be Gilbert Arvizu as managing director. A 15-year beverage industry professional, Arvizu most recently served as a vice president sales and business development for the Company’s U.S. unit. He will be located in the city of Puebla and will report to Mark Benadiba, executive vice president of Cott.
“We have tremendous confidence in Gil to lead our new unit in Mexico,” said Benadiba. “His sound experience in the beverage industry, customer focus and his dynamic management style will be key in helping deploy our retailer brand beverage initiatives in this market.”
About Cott Corporation
Cott Corporation is the world’s largest retailer brand soft drink supplier, with the leading take home carbonated soft drink market shares in this segment in its core markets of the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.
Safe Harbor Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements reflecting management’s current expectations regarding future results of operations, economic performance, financial condition and achievements of the Company. Forward-looking statements, specifically those concerning future performance, are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, and actual results may differ materially. These risks and uncertainties are detailed from time to time in the Company’s filings with the appropriate securities commissions, and include, without limitation, stability of procurement costs for raw and packaging materials, adverse weather conditions, competitive activities by national, regional and retailer brand beverage manufacturers, the Company’s ability to integrate acquired business into its operations, fluctuations in currency versus the U.S. dollar, the uncertainties of litigation, and retailers’ continued commitment to their retailer brand beverage programs. The foregoing list of factors is not exhaustive. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements.
Rod Jimenez, 416/203-5606 (Media Relations)
Edmund P. O’Keeffe, 416/203-5617 (Investor Relations)