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Cadbury Schweppes buys Pernod's
soft drinks brands for £442m

LONDON - Cadbury Schweppes has bought Pernod Ricard's soft drinks brands and businesses in key markets for £442m.

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Cadbury will acquire the Orangina, Pampryl fruit juice brand, Champomy and Yoo-Hoo brands in Europe, North America and Australia. The acquisition is subject to regulatory approval by EU and US competition authorities.

The businesses being acquired had sales in 2000 of £294m and pro-forma Ebitda of £40m. Orangina accounts for approximately half of the total volume being acquired.

Under a separate arrangement, Pernod Ricard also has an option to sell its soft drinks business in all other countries to Cadbury Schweppes at a future date, for a separate consideration not expected to exceed £22m.

In a statement, Cadbury Schweppes said, "The acquisition of Pernod Ricard's soft drinks business will significantly strengthen the position of Cadbury Schweppes in France, Europe's third-largest soft drinks market, through a broader product portfolio including the leading carbonated orange drink Orangina, which is the number two brand in the overall French soft drinks market."

In the US, Orangina and Yoo-Hoo are premium brands which complement the existing beverages businesses of Cadbury Schweppes.

In addition to the purchase price, Cadbury Schweppes has agreed to make a payment to Pernod Ricard, estimated at approximately £11m, to compensate Pernod Ricard for certain tax liabilities arising from the transaction structure. This cost is exceeded by the tax benefits accruing over time to Cadbury Schweppes.

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