Britvic says to buy French soft drinks rival Fruite

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British soft drinks company Britvic on Tuesday said it had agreed to buy French rival Fruite Enterprises for 237 million euros (294 million dollars) in cash.

Britvic said it would issue 21.7 million shares to help fund the deal that would merge Britvic brands including J2O fruit juice and Robinsons cordial with Fruite's Teisseire syrup and Pressade juice.

"With a portfolio of iconic, market-leading still brands and as France's leading independent soft drinks company, Fruite is an excellent strategic fit," Britvic chief executive Paul Moody said in a statement.

Britvic said the tie-up "would provide an entry point into the attractive French soft drinks market which has a 2009 value of 12.5 billion euros."

© 2010 AFP

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