Refresco, Europe's largest juice and soft-drink maker, said yesterday it has received an improved takeover bid from Paris-based investor PAI Partners worth 1.6 billion euros ($1.9 billion). The Dutch independent bottler, which works with brands as Innocent and Del Monte, fended off an initial offer from the private equity in April worth 1.4 billion euros. The Rotterdam-based Refresco said its board will now "carefully review the proposal, taking into account all Refresco's stakeholders". Refresco's share price jumped by more than 7.1 percent to 18.57 euros in mid-morning trade on the Amsterdam stock exchange's AMX index, where it has been listed since 2015. The company bottles soft drinks and fruit juices for retailers across mainland Europe, Britain and the United States.
It employs some 5,500 people and last year bottled some 6.5 billion litres of soft drinks and juice, earning a net profit of 81.5 million euros. PAI's new proposal comes after Refresco agreed in July to buy the soda business of Canada-based Cott Corp in a deal worth $1.25 billion.