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Thursday, 21 December, 2000, 17:29 GMT
Cadbury buys Slush Puppie
Slush Puppie brands
Born to chill: The Slush Puppie drinks portfolio
UK sweets and beverages giant Cadbury Schweppes has sealed a year of global takeovers by buying cold drink manufacturer Slush Puppie.

We are always interested in good brands which can add value to our business

Cadbury Schweppes spokeswoman

Cadbury Schweppes on Thursday announced that it has beefed up its US presence by buying the manufacturer of cold ice-based drinks for $16.6m.

The deal follows purchases including the $1.45bn acquisition of Snapple, completed last month, and the buyout of Kraft Foods' sweets business.

And Cadbury Schweppes on Thursday confirmed that talks are still ongoing over the purchase of Orangina, and "other non-alcoholic brands", from Pernod-Ricard.

"We are always interested in good brands which can add value to our business," a Cadbury spokeswoman told BBC News Online.

Brand sale

The firm's takeover spree has been backed by the $1bn sale of Dr Pepper and Schweppes brands in some countries, including the UK, to Coca-Cola last year.

Cadbury Schweppes has since sought to build growth in its beverage division around business hubs in North America, Continental Europe and Australia.

The purchase of Slush Puppie also provides Cadbury Schweppes with an entré into the non-fizzy drinks market, which the firm has yet to explore.

"This acquisition.... complements our existing business and allows us to immediately begin exploring non-carbonated frozen product extensions for soft drink brands in our portfolio," said Doug Tough, president and chief executive of Cadbury's US subsidiary Dr Pepper/ Seven Up.

Drinks entrepreneur

Slush Puppie, launched in Cincinatti, Ohio in 1970 by entrepreneur Will Radcliff, achieved sales of £25m last year through sales in 44 countries.

There is so much additional growth potential

Will Racliff, founder, Slush Puppie

Mr Radcliff will continue to lead the firm during a handover period.

Besides owning the flagship Slush Puppie brand, the firm owns a real lemonade drink, CaFreezo cappuccino drinks, and Vita Pup, a fruit-juice based slush drink.

"I am pleased that Dr Pepper/Seven Up will continue the brand I founded 30 years ago," Mr Radcliff said. "There is so much additional growth potential."

Shares in Cadbury Schweppes closed 3.5p lower at 476p in London on Thursday.

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See also:

29 Sep 00 | Business
Orangina sale talks
24 May 00 | Business
Cadbury seeks French deal
16 Feb 00 | Business
Profits sweet at Cadbury
28 Jul 99 | The Company File
Cadbury's confident despite profits fall
24 May 99 | The Company File
Cadbury-Schweppes waters down Coca-Cola deal
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