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Cadbury-Schweppes Has Share of Dr Pepper Deal

August 26, 1986|From Staff and Wire Reports

A Dallas-based investment group that purchased Dr Pepper Co. last week said Monday that Cadbury-Schweppes PLC holds a 30% share in the sale, making the British firm the world's third-largest soft-drink producer.

Cadbury-Schweppes, which makes sparkling water, sodas, mixers and a line of chocolates and candy, bought the Canada Dry and Sunkist soft-drink operations from RJR Nabisco in June for $230 million, giving it a 5.3% share of the U.S. market.

With its 30% interest in Dr Pepper, the London-based company holds the third-highest share of the U.S. soft-drink market, according to beverage analyst Jesse Meyers, publisher of Beverage Digest.

Coca-Cola and Pepsico control the top two spots, together taking 80% of the $25-billion soft-drink market. Dr Pepper had been No. 3.

Forstmann, Little & Co. agreed last week to sell Dr Pepper for $416 million to a company formed by an investment group that was initially said to include a unit of the securities firm Shearson Lehman Bros. and the Dallas-based investment firm Hicks & Haas, along with members of management at Dr Pepper.

Thomas O. Hicks, who becomes co-chairman of Dr Pepper when the sale is completed, said Monday that there was nothing mysterious about Cadbury-Schweppes being excluded from the initial purchase agreement. "We basically had a handshake agreement," said Hicks. "Things were moving so fast we didn't have time to finalize" Cadbury-Schweppes' participation at the time the sale was announced.

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