Florida-based Cott Beverages plans to expand production at Scottish drinks firm Sangs, which it bought out of administration last month for an undisclosed sum.
Steve Kitching, Cott’s md, said during a visit to Sang’s Macduff plant: “We see opportunities to expand production, there is spare capacity at the plant, and we see employment continuing at the level it is at now.”
Sangs produces bottled water and fizzy drinks under the brands Deveron Spring, MacB Solripe and Moray Cup.
The business was put into administration by Allied Irish Bank in January 2012 following fears about its ability to repay a bank loan of £6.5M plus £1M owed to other creditors.
A spokeswoman for administrators, Zolfo Cooper, told FoodManufacture.co.uk that the firm went into administration because of cash flow pressures brought about by “a challenging trading environment impacting the consumer goods industry”.
But she added: “Cott believes that by bringing expertise and focus on efficiency projects and with the continued support of the local community and authorities, the business will further stabilise and strengthen so that Sangs will continue to provide soft drinks of the highest quality.”
Elizabeth Mackay, partner at Zolfo Cooper and joint administrator, said: “We are delighted to see Sangs exit administration and it is now well positioned for the future.
“We have always been of the mind that the people, products and provenance of this very special and uniquely Scottish business had a great deal to offer any owner prepared to invest in and develop.”
Sangs, based in Banff, employs 60 people.
Cott employs 4,000 people across the world. It produces a range of own-label and licensed brands of juices, soft drinks, bottled waters and other beverages at facilities in the UK, USA, Canada and Mexico.
The firm reported operating income of $101M last year compared with $99M the previous year.
It also reported filled beverage case volume up by 15% driven by higher volumes in the UK, North America, and Mexico.
Meanwhile, the value of the soft drinks market in the UK rose 4% to reach £9.7bn – with a 1% increase in volume, according to the latest Soft Drinks Report complied by market research group Nielsen, for 2011.
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Sangs at a glance
- Founded in Aberdeen in 1896
- Moved to Macduff in 1974
- Acquired for £10m in 2007
- Entered administration January 2012
- Acquired by Cott Beverages March 2012