Cadbury Schweppes plc (NYSE: CSG) today announced that the Dr Pepper/Seven Up Bottling Group, Inc, its US associate, has acquired the southern Texas bottler, Grant-Lydick Beverages Company. The consideration was not disclosed.

Grant-Lydick Beverage Company manufactures and distributes carbonated soft drinks in San Antonio, Austin, Harlingen, Victoria, Corpus Christi and La Grange, Texas. The brand portfolio embraces 7 UP, Sunkist, A&W, Big Red, R C Cola, Deja Blue and Snapple. Grant-Lydick is the largest distributor of Big Red in the United States and the ninth largest distributor of 7 UP. Net sales for the year ending 1999 were approximately $79 million. Grant-Lydick has 575 employees.

The Dr Pepper/Seven Up Bottling Group is the largest independent manufacturer and distributor of soft drinks and new age beverages in the United States with a distribution area covering 95 million people in 20 states. Net sales were approximately $1.8 billion in 1999. The company is the largest distributor of 7 UP and one of the largest Dr Pepper distributors in the United States accounting for 36% and 19% of the total volume, respectively.

John Sunderland, Chief Executive Officer of Cadbury Schweppes, said, "Dr Pepper/Seven Up Bottling Group's strong performance in first half 2000 encouraged us to search for further consolidation opportunities in the independent bottling system. Grant-Lydick represents an important step in growing route to market for Dr Pepper/Seven UP's brands in the US and provides a solid platform for continued strengthening of the independent bottling system."

Jim Turner, Chief Executive Officer and President, Dr Pepper/Seven Up Bottling Group, added, "This acquisition is an excellent strategic fit with our existing business. We are delighted to have the Grant-Lydick team as part of our Company to help us continue the dynamic growth of our brands and business."

Dr Pepper/Seven Up Bottling Group, Inc. is a joint venture formed by Cadbury Schweppes plc, The Carlyle Group, a global investment firm based in Washington, D.C. and Jim L Turner, the former owner of Dr Pepper Bottling Company of Texas.