TAMPA — Beverage producer and distributor Cott Corp., one of Tampa's largest headquartered companies, plans to expand in Hillsborough County. The expansion will create 60 new jobs and invest $800,000 in the local community.
"Cott has undergone a significant and positive transformation in recent years including acquisitions such as DS Services, Aquaterra, Eden Springs and most recently, S&D Coffee and Tea, Cott CEO Jerry Fowden said in a statement. That diversification away from producing private label sodas — a market facing a consumer backlash against sugary beverages — has helped in Cott's rebound.
"As we grow," Fowden said, "we continue to strive to be an employer of choice in the Florida and Tampa market. Tampa has been a very good location for our global headquarters, offering a workforce whose skills align with our business needs. That makes this region increasingly attractive to us."
Cott said it had recently reviewed its North America support structure and opted to relocate positions from other domestic and international locations and further invest those jobs in Tampa.
The expansion comes with $300,000 in state and county incentives. The total QTI (qualified target industry) package includes $240,000 from the state and $60,000 from Hillsborough County.
With over 12,000 employees, Cott maintains operations in 20 countries worldwide. Cott also develops and manufactures beverage concentrates, which it exports to approximately 50 countries around the world.
Cott shares on Friday morning traded just under $11. In the past year, the company's stock peaked last summer at $17.38. The company, which relocated its headquarters to Tampa in 2007, also operates corporate offices in Mississauga, Ontario.