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Producers of Canadian ice-cider, in south-eastern Quebec, have formulated their own seal of authenticity to help consumers understand difference between genuine ice-cider and knock offs. The product is made from fermented apples whose sugars have been concentrated by freezing temperatures. A seal affixed to the bottle contains a group of letters; the first two represent the name of the producer, the next four numbers indicate the date of juice extraction and the start of fermentation and the last two letters represent the name of the vintner.
Eckes-Granini SNC, the French subsidiary of German fruit juice group, Eckes Granini, is claiming a 30% share in the on premise juice market in France. The company, which employs 470 people, was formed last August with the merger of Eckes Granini's two French subsidiaries, Joker Group and Les Vergers
West Coast Vineyards is expanding its operations into Asia and Pacific Rim, having set up a subsidiary company to drive its exports in that region. Heading up West Coast Vineyards Asia and Pacific Rim, is Peter Milne a wine marketer with 20 years experience. For the past eight years Milne has specialised in Asia, where he helped KWV become the biggest stakeholder for South African wines in that region.
Today Highland Spring, Scotland's No1 natural mineral water and Britain's biggest brand producer*, acquired its Blackford neighbour, The Gleneagles Spring Water Company from Time Group Ltd, Lancashire for an undisclosed sum. Best known for its stylish glass bottle, Gleneagles, a natural mineral water sourced from the Perthshire Gleneagles Estate, had a £1.3 million turnover to July 2000. Highland Spring is forecasting a 27% uplift in turnover to £35 million for 2001, prior to the takeover.
The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) announced today that it expects reported worldwide unit case volume to grow in the range of 4 to 5 percent during the first quarter. In a slowing world economy, the Company is benefiting from the strong performance of its portfolio of international operations, which are expected to grow approximately 6 percent in the quarter. In North America, growth is expected to be approximately 1 percent. With additional marketing activities, including new advertising for brand Coca-Cola beginning in the second quarter, the Company expects North American volume trends to accelerate throughout the year.
Marconi Online Systems, a division of Marconi plc (NASDAQ and LONDON: MONI), and USA Technologies (OTC BB: USTT) announced today that they have formed a strategic alliance that will offer new revenue generating opportunities for the global vending industry. The alliance creates the most comprehensive end-to-end technology solution for the vending industry by bringing together Marconi Online's Intelligent Vending(TM) service with USA Technologies' cashless payment and interactive multimedia capabilities delivered through their revolutionary e-Port(TM) technology.
Strong fourth quarter growth of 5 percent helped to achieve a record 4.4 percent rate of real internal growth, forty basis points above objective Group sales increased by 9.1 percent, despite a 1.3 percent net reduction from dives-titures/acquisitions Profits and cash flow at an all time high
Vivendi Universal has entered into an agreement for the sale of Seagram's spirits and wine business to Diageo and Pernod Ricard for $8,150 billion, subject to regulatory approvals. Net proceeds after taxes are expected to be approximately $7,7 billion. This is $1,3 billion over and above the objective Vivendi Universal had set to wipe out Seagram's net debt of $6.4 billion (as of September 30, 2000), excluding ACES (Adjustable Conversion-rate Equity Security units) of which the dilutive impact had already been taken into account.
Diageo plc and Pernod Ricard SA today confirm that they have signed an agreement to acquire the spirits and wine business of The Seagram Company Ltd., for US$8.15 billion (£5.5 billion) in cash on a debt free basis. The purchase consideration will be funded by Diageo and Pernod Ricard as to $5.0 billion by Diageo and as to $3.15 billion by Pernod Ricard. The agreement is principally conditional on clearance by the anti-trust regulatory authorities.
In response to today's announcement that Diageo and Pernod Ricard will acquire Seagram's spirits and wine business for $8.15 billion, the following comments were issued today: Jean-Marie Messier, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Vivendi Universal, said: "I am very pleased with the agreement we have executed with Diageo and Pernod Ricard. This agreement recognizes the full value of Seagram's spirits and wine business and creates after tax proceeds that exceed Seagram's net debt. This transaction strengthens our balance sheet and helps to create real and immediate value for Vivendi Universal shareholders. We have a great management team in place and strong media and communications businesses that are strategically well positioned. With this sale, we will now focus our energy on achieving the aggressive growth targets that we have set for ourselves."
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