Refrigerated juice processorSunny Delight Beverages Co. (SDBC), Cincinnati, said it will spend more than $70 million to (1) upgrade its five North American manufacturing facilities and data systems and to (2) acquire aJ.M. Smuckerplant in Sherman, Texas. 

In conjunction, SDBC officials said it agreed to sell its Western European Sunny Delight juice drink business to Orangina Schweppes, a leading fruit drink firm in Western Europe, and a company of the Suntory Group. Terms of this transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval, were not disclosed.  Officials said proceeds from that sale "will enable SDBC to be debt-free and to focus its resources on growing its much larger and more diversified North American business."  

SDBC it agreed to buy The J. M. Smucker Company's plant in Sherman, Texas, for undisclosed terms. SDBC said it is working with the Sherman Economic Development Corporation  on incentives. SDBC has been leasing space at the site since 2004 to produce its SunnyD brand. The J. M. Smucker Company will continue to produce its Folgers coffee brand at the site until April 2011.

"The North American supply chain and data system upgrades and our purchase of the Sherman plant, will improve corporate profitability, manufacturing efficiency, and our environmental footprint," said Ellen Iobst, senior vice president of manufacturing and technology.  "Specifically, this investment will lower our costs via 'no touch,' robotic warehousing at each site and will further enhance our sustainability efforts through upgraded, consumer preferred packages that require less material and energy to produce.

"The result will be more highly efficient beverage operations across North America better capable of producing our seven brands and meeting our retailers' and consumers' needs," said Iobst.

SDBC produces refrigerated beverages at sites in Anaheim, Calif.; Sherman, Texas; Atlanta; South Brunswick, N.J.; and Littleton, Mass.

SDBC is majority owned by J.W. Childs Associates, L.P., Boston.