Soft drink bottler Cott Corp. plans to invest US$40 million to expand its bottle-making capabilities.
The Mississauga, Ontario, firm has chosen to invest in Sidel blow molding and water bottling equipment. GE Commercial Finance will provide US$31.4 million in financing for the equipment and lease it to Cott over eight years. As well, Cott expects to spend US$8.6 million on engineering and other implementation costs.
Cott said the equipment will be installed at four undisclosed locations where it will be used to make lightweight plastic beverage bottles at high speeds. The project will allow Cott to meet its current needs and to back out of some contract packaging and other costly bottling arrangements.
Cott officials declined to provide details on the type of equipment and schedule for installation.
``This equipment enhances Cott's ability to compete in the large and fast-growing bottled-water category,'' noted Cott's president for North America, Rick Dobry, in a news release. ``It also allows our customers to lower their carbon footprint by shifting to lower-weight bottles while continuing to satisfy growing consumer demand.
``Cott will be introducing proprietary new bottle designs that are consumer preferred and among the most environmentally responsible packages in the beverage industry,'' Dobry said.
Cott's principal markets are in North America and the United Kingdom, but it does business in more than 60 countries. It makes a wide range of carbonated and noncarbonated drinks and logged sales of US$464.6 million for the third quarter ended Sept. 29.