Refresco (RFRG) has continued its buy-and-build strategy with the $1.3bn (£1bn) acquisition of the bottling operations of Canadian drinks manufacturer Cott.

The deal will create the world’s largest independent bottler for retailers and brands in Europe and North America with a combined production volume of approximately 12 billion litres, Refresco said.

Cott’s bottling activities are made up of a beverage platform with a full portfolio of non-alcoholic beverages, focused on retailer brands and contract manufacturing, with more than 500 retail customers.

The deal adds 19 production sites in the US, four in Canada, one in Mexico and five in the UK.

Cott’s bottling activities generated annual revenues of approximately $1.7bn (£1.3bn) in 2016 and made up about 47% of its total business. Adjusted EBITDA was $136.5m (£104.4m) last year.

Refresco forecast synergies of almost €50m to be delivered by Cott within three years of completing the deal.

Shares in Refresco have fallen by 2.5% so far today to €16.75 in response to the deal announcement.

“This acquisition is a transformational deal right at the heart of Refresco’s buy & build strategy,” Refresco added.

Refresco’s board has unanimously backed the deal, but it still needs to get shareholder support at a general meeting on 5 September. Completion of the deal is expected in the second half of 2017, subject to customary conditions, including anti-trust approval in various jurisdictions and Refresco shareholder approval.

Integration will start immediately after closing with the UK, representing around 30% of Cott’s business, being integrated into Refresco Europe and the North American organization being combined with Refresco US.

The group will finance the acquisition with debt and intends to issue around €200m in new shares within 12 months of closing.

Refresco, which supplies own-label juice to Tesco, rejected an initial €1.4bn (£1.2bn) takeover approach from French private equity giant PAI Partners in April. In July last year, it refinanced its €672m loan facility to fund more acquisitions after buying Dutch beverage manufacturer DIS for €72m and a PepsiCo bottling plant in Hamburg earlier in the year.

The soft drinks firm also acquired large scale US bottler Whitlock Packaging for $129m (£98.3m), entering the North American market for the first time, in late July 2016.