Royal Unibrew to acquire Dutch soft drinks company Vrumona from Heineken

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Royal Unibrew A/S, a Danish brewing and beverage company, has announced the signing of an agreement to purchase Vrumona from Heineken.

As the second largest soft drinks player in the Dutch market, Vrumona has a strong portfolio of both its own brands and partner brands. The company, based near Utrecht, boasts over 300 employees.

The acquisition will see Royal Unibrew A/S take full ownership of Vrumona at a cost of €300 million, calculated on a debt-free basis. In 2022, Vrumona reported a net revenue of €200 million, and normalized EBITDA of €25 million. The resulting acquisition multiple (EV/EBITDA) stands at 12 times.

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The merger is expected to boost Royal Unibrew A/S’s earnings per share (EPS) by 2024, with the return on invested capital (ROIC) projected to surpass the weighted average cost of capital (WACC) within three years. However, the transaction still requires regulatory approval in a small Royal Unibrew export market and the customary works council process on the seller’s side.

Lars Jensen — Royal Unibrew A/S CEO said: “We are happy to have signed an agreement with Heineken to acquire Vrumona. Vrumona is a leading soft drinks manufacturer, and it comes with a strong local organization, which makes it a strategic very strong fit for Royal Unibrew.

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“Vrumona will become a new growth platform for Royal Unibrew in continental Europe and is expected to drive organic earnings growth in the coming years.”

Vrumona holds a strong position in both the on-trade and off-trade sectors, operating popular brands such as Royal Club, Sisi, Sourcy, Sourcy Vitamin Water, 7 Up, Pepsi, and Rivella. The acquisition also bolsters Royal Unibrew A/S’s partnership with PepsiCo, as Vrumona has been operating the full beverage portfolio from PepsiCo under a license agreement since 1949.

Vrumona currently operates seven production lines, with an annual output of approximately 3.1 million hectolitres. Royal Unibrew A/S intends to use the acquisition to establish a new market platform in The Netherlands and plans to invest in further production capabilities to support growth and complement its global production footprint.

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The majority of Vrumona’s product portfolio focuses on the no/low sugar and calories segment, demonstrating the company’s innovative stance on wellness, healthier products, and sustainability. However, long-term investments are needed to replace an outdated filling line and to improve efficiencies, capacities, and capabilities. Therefore, it’s expected to take a few years before the platform can fully exploit its organic growth potential.

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