TLC Sells Beverage Biz

Not quite a year removed from divesting itself of a mammoth fond division for $576 million, TLC Beatrice International Holdings Inc. is at it again. The nation’s largest black-owned enterprise has contracted a deal to sell the company’s interests in its European beverage group to a group of local managers for $44 million, including cash and debt.

The companies, Winters, Sunco and St. Alban, said a variety of soft drinks and mineral waters primarily in the Netherlands, Belgium and France, respectively; the combined concerns posted sales of approximately $119 million last year. The purchasing group is led by Jacques Heymans, president and general manager of Sunco and St. AIban.

TLC executives see the sale as a necessary tool to move the company forward. “This is a part of a managerial strategy to unlock the value of the company for shareholders,” says TLC Vice President Butch Meily. The company’s remaining operations will continue to manufacture and market ice cream in Spain and the Canary Islands, and manufacture snack foods in Ireland.

“Selling the beverage group will enable the business to continue to develop and grow,” says Meily. As an ongoing part of that strategy, TLC recently hired investment banker Goldman, Sachs & Co. to review financial and strategic opportunities.

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