The Czech Republic’s biggest producer of mineral and spring water Karlovarske mineralni vody a.s. (KMV) is buying Quadrant Beverages, the official bottler of PepsiCo in Bulgaria, the Czech company announced on April 20. The price of the transaction was not disclosed.
This is another large M&A transaction in the soft drinks sector in Bulgaria, after last December private equity firm Advent International agreed to sell its 93.29% stake in Bulgaria’s leading producer and distributor of bottled water Devin to its Belgian peer Spadel.
For KMV, it follows the acquisition of two major Hungarian beverage companies, Kékkúti Ásványvíz and Szentkirályi Ásványvíz, which reinforced its position as the largest producer of bottled mineral and spring water in Central Europe. The company is now considering further expansion in Hungary.
Quadrant Beverages bottles and distributes the brands Pepsi, Mirinda, 7UP and Evervess. The company’s portfolio also includes the still drinks Prisun, Lipton Ice Tea, Gat Foods and the energy drink Rockstar. The firm is the brand owner of table water Bellissima in Bulgaria.
“By entering Bulgaria we build on the successful acquisition of Kékkúti Ásványvíz and Szentkirályi Ásványvíz, the two most important beverage companies in Hungary, and we continue our strategy of developing activities in other interesting foreign markets," said Alessandro Pasquale, CEO of KMV, in a statement.
“Bulgaria … has, in my opinion, a higher potential than is generally known,” he added.
Pasquale also disclosed that KMV is “working on a long-term Pepsi deal to co-operate in providing some of its beverages in some Central European countries”.
Raiffeisen Bank International AG was KMV’s financial advisor. The deal must be approved by Bulgaria’s antitrust regulator and is expected to be completed in the first half of 2017.
KMV was also one of the candidates for buying Devin, Capital Daily reported. However, it was instead acquired by Spadel in a transaction that gave the company a €120mn enterprise value, and was approved by Bulgaria’s antitrust regulator in March.
The consolidated revenues of Quadrant Beverages increased 7.5% to BGN32.6mn (€16.7mn) in 2016, the daily reported. The company posted a loss of BGN10,000 last year, reversing a profit of BGN536,000 in 2015.
Founded in 1873, KMV currently employs 400 people. In 1994 the company was privatised and the Pasquale family, Italian entrepreneurs, became the new owners. Presently, KMV bottles the Mattoni, Magnesia and Aquila brands of mineral and spring water and exports them to more than 20 countries.
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