The UK-based confectionary and soft drink group Cadbury Schweppes has denied a report saying it was in talks to sell off its European beverage operations.

The company was responding to a story in a UK Sunday newspaper, which claimed Cadbury was considering a sale of the soft drink division, which could generate as much as GBP750m. The report said private equity firms had been in touch with the owner of Orangina and Cadbury was looking to use proceeds form a sales to reduce borrowing.

But Cadbury denied the report, saying: "We absolutely have not been in any discussions with any firm about any part of our business." A spokeswoman said Cadbury was concentrating on "top line growth and paying down our debt".