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Strong Operating Results From Refresco Gerber Reflect Merger Benefits

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Strong Operating Results From Refresco Gerber Reflect Merger Benefits

Strong Operating Results From Refresco Gerber Reflect Merger Benefits
March 04
10:30 2015

Refresco Gerber, the leading European bottler of soft drinks and fruit juices for retailers and brand owners, has reported a 28.3% jump in revenue to €2.037 billion for 2014, attributable to the merger between Refresco and Gerber Emig which took place in November 2013, partially offset by lower underlying volumes and slightly declining raw material prices. Operating profit was €106.8 million in 2014 compared to €24.4 million in 2013. These increases were driven by improved margins, synergies realized from the merger and lower overall costs in the underlying business. Adjusted EBITDA for the full year totaled €208.2 million, an increase of 49.0% on 2013. Largely driven by the merger, the net profit for the year was €38.7 million compared to a net loss of €28.9 million in 2013.

Headquartered in Rotterdam, the Netherlands and employing about 4,100 people, Refresco Gerber operates 27 production facilities across nine countries in Europe.

“2014 was a successful year for Refresco Gerber in many respects,” says Hans Roelofs, chief executive of Refresco Gerber. “We are pleased to report strong operating results and cash flow as well as significant synergies from the merger.”

Hans Roelofs, chief executive of Refresco Gerber.

Hans Roelofs, chief executive of Refresco Gerber.

He continues: “We took a big leap forward in our operations and financial results. The merger expanded our manufacturing footprint and we now provide our customers access to more markets, products, packaging formats and innovations. At the same time the merger has enabled us to further professionalize our organisation and realize scale and efficiency synergies, cost advantages and commercial opportunities – all contributing to strong profits for the year. The merger also resulted in a significant increase in volume and revenue, although in certain markets and categories underlying private label volumes were slightly under pressure throughout the year.”

Having explored various options for a new capital structure to support Refresco Gerber’s future growth ambitions, the company now intends to launch an Initial Public Offering on Euronext Amsterdam.

The envisaged offering will consist of a primary offering, consisting of newly issued ordinary shares, and a secondary offering, consisting of ordinary shares which are held by the current shareholders. The offering is envisaged to be made available to institutional and retail investors in the Netherlands and to certain institutional investors in various other jurisdictions. The listing is envisaged to take place in the near future, subject to market conditions. After completion of the envisaged IPO a leverage ratio (defined as Net Debt divided by Adjusted EBITDA) of up to 2.5x is anticipated.

“Over the last few months we have been exploring the alternatives that will enable us to best capture the private label and contract manufacturing growth opportunities we see in our industry. Following a comprehensive review of all options, a stock exchange listing providing us full access to equity capital markets has proven to be the most logical step to support us in effectively implementing our strategy going forward,” Hans Roelofs explains. “We are looking forward to the opportunities a listing on Euronext Amsterdam can bring.”

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