Cadbury Schweppes rejects beverage bid, says report

By Neil Merrett

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Cadbury schweppes, Dr pepper snapple group

The saga over the anticipated sale of Cadbury Schweppes'
US beverage division continues to roll on, with the company
understood to have turned down a revised offer for the arm,
according to news reports in the UK.

A source reportedly close to the deal told the Financial Times newspaper today that the group last week rejected an offer from a private equity consortium worth between £6.4bn (€9.2bn) to £6.9bn (€10bn). Earlier estimates had suggested that the deal could cost upwards of €7.5bn. The claims could create further uncertainty over the future of some of the world's leading soft drink brands including Snapple, Dr Pepper, and Clamato, adding to the possibility the group may split rather than sell off the division. A spokesperson for Cadbury Schweppes said it was not the policy of the company to comment on sales reports, but suggested that it remained committed to its plan of separating the business. Such a claim still doesn't help clarify what the full nature of this plan could be though. Over the last few months, the company has been forced to repeatedly review its intentions for splitting the business. Cadbury Schweppes announced in June that it would sell off the brands in a cost reduction​ strategy to "focus on fewer, bigger and more value-creating initiatives"​ and "significantly reduce complexity across all aspects of the business".​ The company said the move would allow it to re-brand as Cadbury plc to emphasize its new focus on confectionery production. By July, despite receiving what it called "strong"​ interest from potential suitors for the arm, the group revealed it had decided to extend its deadline for the sale​ amidst "extreme volatility"​ in the raising of leveraged debt for the purchase. Just last month though, Cadbury Schweppes conceded that it may opt to split from its American beverages business in place of selling it, should the debt market fail to stabilise.

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