Coca-Cola HBC agrees to buy Irish vending firm with 2,000 machines

Extended hand holding a bottle of Coke Zero.
Coca-Cola HBC has agreed a deal to buy Irish vending machine operator BDS.

Coca-Cola’s bottling operation on the island of Ireland has agreed a deal to acquire an Irish business with 2,000 vending machines.

BDS Vending Solutions, which has been trading since 1993, has centres in Dublin, Cork, Belfast, Galway, Limerick and Waterford.

Switzerland-based Coca Cola HBC announced on Thursday morning that its Northern Ireland subsidiary, which operates from its Knockmore Hill factory in Lisburn, had reached an agreement to acquire 100% of the vending business.

It said the two founders, David Mullan and Brian Berry, have agreed to support the ownership transition of BDS Vending following completion of the proposed transaction.

The proposed transaction is subject to approval by the Republic’s Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC), but is anticipated the deal will be completed over the coming months.

Coca-Cola HBC employs around 750 people across bottling and canning sites in Lisburn and Dublin.

The latest financial report for the group revealed it sold 85.1 million cases island-wide during 2023, a 3% increase on 2022.

Coca-Cola HBC said deal the deal for BDS Vending is part of a strategy to enhance its route-to-market capabilities, including last mile delivery.

“At the same time it will unlock profitable opportunities across its well-rounded cold and hot beverages and snacks portfolio,” the company informed the markets on Thursday.

“BDS Vending furthermore provides a valuable building block, with proven technology and services, from which Coca-Cola HBC plans to develop additional capabilities across its markets.”

Davide Franzetti, general manager of Coca-Cola HBC Ireland & Northern Ireland, said: “We are delighted to be announcing this proposed acquisition of BDS Vending and we look forward to working with the BDS team.

“BDS will provide us with a joint platform to build capabilities in our route-to-market, to offer our customers greater choice and to further enhance our consumer experience.”

A joint statement issued by David Mullan and Brian Berry, said: “In-line with our commitment to the vending industry over the past 30 years we feel it’s the right time to have BDS Vending join forces with Coca-Cola HBC and transition our business model to become part of a larger group with a much wider geographic reach.

“We have worked hard on innovation and our vending offering over the past three decades so bringing this model to the Coca-Cola HBC family will be an exciting journey.”