Keeping pace with Refresco, Europe’s fastest growing soft drinks and juice bottler

Industry: Food
Customer story

Aart Duijzer, Refresco (left) with Rudy Scheffer, DLL (right)

Refresco Gerber is the leading bottler of soft drinks and fruit juices for the industry’s largest retailers and brands in Europe, including PepsiCo. It is known for being the industry’s most flexible bottler with the best bottling lines. To sustain their technological lead, they turn to DLL.

“We are a fast-growing company in a low-growth industry,” says Aart Duijzer, Chief Financial Officer of Refresco Group. “This means we grow primarily through acquisitions, and when you acquire companies you inherit their equipment as well – equipment that is often old or doesn’t contribute to a cost-efficient operation. There is a constant need to optimize our bottling capacity and continuously upgrade our bottling lines. DLL is essential to accelerating this process.”  

Keeping pace
Refresco has been working with DLL, its equipment finance solutions partner, since 2008. During this time Refresco has grown tremendously, and in 2015 the company went public to finance further expansion. Today, Refresco is growing 2-5 times faster than its competition. According to its CFO, it aims to double in size in the next five years.

There is a constant need to optimize our bottling capacity and continuously upgrade our bottling lines. DLL is essential to accelerating this process. "
Customer story

“The challenge for DLL is to keep pace with Refresco’s growth, especially geographically,” says Rudy Scheffer, DLL’s Sr. Relationship Manager / Large Accounts. “Our size and scope allows us to bring something else to the table other than just money, namely local expertise and consistency across Europe. We offer Refresco a pan-European solution where every contract is adapted to fit local legislation and supported and executed by a local office.”

Forefront of flexibility
Retailers want to offer a complete range of beverages – Light, Zero, 33cl or half liter bottles, cans, etc. These variations may be subtle to consumers, but they are crucial to retailers. It demands an extraordinary amount of flexibility from Refresco. Investing in state-of-the-art machinery is one of Refresco’s key strategic focuses.

“We want to be on the forefront of flexible equipment and have the best fleet in the industry,” says Duijzer. “We renew our machines sooner than we technically need to because that gives us a competitive advantage.”

For DLL, assessing tier 1 equipment presents an exacting challenge. Not only because the investment is huge and the delivery times long – up to 12 months. But also because assessing the value of front-running assets for equipment finance is a specialism in and of itself.

To help Refresco stay at the forefront of flexible equipment, DLL provides advanced tier 1 equipment finance solutions
Customer story

“This is equipment few companies have access to. You need both scale and financial standing to make these investments,” says Scheffer. “It is our job to assess each transaction and determine its optimum lifecycle. This requires in-depth knowledge of the industry.”

Market Consolidation
The bottling market is crying for consolidation, says Duijzer. By going public in 2015, Refresco has the capitalization to rapidly expand. DLL has the European-wide organization to actively contribute to its growth.

This is equipment few companies have access to. You need both scale and financial standing to make these investments. It is our job to assess each transaction and determine its optimum lifecycle. This requires in-depth knowledge of the industry. "
Customer story

“It’s really not a radical business model,” adds Duijzer. “We promise our customers to grow with them in the markets we currently operate, to continuously launch new products and packaging categories in selected markets and to further expand geographically.”

“And DLL’s promise is to keep pace with Refresco,” adds Scheffer.