Cott considering sale of its coffee and tea business to focus on water

TORONTO — Cott Corp. says it is considering the sale of its coffee and tea business as it evaluates whether to transition into becoming a pure-play water provider.

The beverage company says it’s evaluating strategic alternatives for its S&D Coffee and Tea subsidiary as part of its strategic planning process.

Cott says the nearly century-old S&D is the leader in custom coffee roasting and largest blender of iced teas for food service and convenience stores in the U.S.

The Toronto-based parent company says it has hired a financial adviser to help evaluate the coffee and tea business, but adds there’s no assurance that any alternative will be pursued.

Cott sold the remaining part of its carbonated soft drink business, including its concentrate facility and RCI International division, to Refresco Group last February for US$50 million. In January 2018, it closed the sale of its traditional Cott beverage manufacturing business to Refresco for US$1.25 billion.

The company’s operations include its DS Services beverage distribution business, S&D Coffee and Tea and its Aimia Foods manufacturing business.

Cott shares gained 93 cents or 5.2 per cent at $18.70 in midday trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 8, 2020.

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The Canadian Press