Cadbury Schweppes's US beverage unit has plans to develop an enhanced water product, according to reports.

Last week, the US beverage maker unveiled that it has begun developing a bottled water enhanced with vitamins and minerals, Reuters said late last week. The news service sourced the information from an interview with Gil Cassagne, president and chief executive of Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages.

The independent bottling system of Cadbury currently distributes Glaceau's Vitaminwater brand. Following the recent US$4.1bn acquisition of Glaceau by Coca-Cola Co. earlier this month, however, the distribution remains in question.

Citing unnamed sources last week, The Times has claimed that two private equity consortiums are in the running for Cadbury's drinks unit. One consortium is comprised of Blackstone, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, and Lion Capital, while another consists of Bain Capital, Texas Pacific, and Thomas H Lee. A third possible group, made up of Canada's Cott Corp. and other private equity groups, is also thought to be looking to bid.

An announcement on the fate of the soft drinks arm is expected from Cadbury Schweppes at its trading update tomorrow.