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Cadbury Schweppes shake up the United States.

Confectionary and soft drinks giant Cadbury Schweppes yesterday clinched a pounds 90 million deal to acquire two market leading brands in the United States.

The group's Mott's subsidiary has snapped up the ReaLemon and ReaLime brands from US firm Eagle Family Foods to strengthen its position in the huge American grocery sector.

Motts, based in Stamford, Connecticut, is already the United States' leading producer of branded apple sauce and apple juice.

The two brands, which last year notched up combined sales of pounds 44 million, are synonymous with lemon and lime juice for millions of Americans.

Created in 1934 and 1947 respectively, ReaLemon and ReaLime are used as an alternative to freshly squeezed lemon and lime juice and are ingredients in marinades, salad dressings as well as in the preparation of poultry, vegetables and seafood.

The deal, which requires regulatory approval, is expected to be completed by early autumn 2001. It includes the two brands in North America, a manufacturing facility in Waterloo, New York, inventory and the global rights to the trademarks.

John Sunderland, chief executive of Cadbury Schweppes, said: 'This acquisition supports Mott's strategy of focusing on profitable niche brands.

'Opportunities for value creation are significant and the acquisition will be immediately enhancing to underlying earnings.'

The transaction will be funded from Cadbury Schweppes' existing debt facilities, he added.

John Sunderland, chief executive of Cadbury Schweppes

SUNDERLAND

Fruits of labour: ReaLime and ReaLemon deal worth pounds 90m
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Aug 15, 2001
Words:239
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