UK beverage supplier Aimia Foods has been sold to rival Cott Beverages in a deal worth $80m (£47.7m). 

The Mersey-based manufacturer, which supplies dry ingredients and beverages to brands and the multiples, has been sold to Cott Ventures, the Kegworth-based subsidiary of US giant Cott Beverages.

Steve Corby, director of Cott Beverages, said the acquisition would accelerates the company’s diversification strategy by bringing a strong hot and cold beverage platform into its portfolio. 

“Aimia has extensive expertise in new product categories, packaging formats and trade channels, such as the packaging of powdered beverages, which we believe enhances the diversification opportunities available to the combined businesses,” he said.

“It has been highly successful in maintaining strong relationships with leading brand-owners and outsourcing partners, and we look forward to continuing to build these relationships under Aimia’s current leadership team.” 

Rob Unsworth, managing director of Aimia Foods, added that the acquisition would provide additional opportunities that would benefit employees and customers alike.

Last year, Aimia invested in new lines to boost its coffee business and told The Grocer it planned to supply all major multiples within 18 months.

As well as own-label coffee, which it supplies to three of the multiples, it manufactures powered hot chocolate, malt drinks, cereals and porridges. Its branded partnerships include manufacturing the Mars drinks portfolio, including Galaxy and Milky Way, and soft drinks for Hello Kitty, Panda, Vimto and No Fear energy drinks.

According to figures filed at Companies House, Aimia’s turnover to the year ending 30 June 2013 fell 0.2% to £58.4m, but operating profit rose 71.5% to £7.2m, up from £2.1m the previous year. Sales growth forecast was forecast at 15% to June 2014.