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UK: ABF buys drinks brands from Novartis

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UK food manufacturer Associated British Foods (ABF) has agreed to buy the food and beverage business of Swiss healthcare group Novartis for €272.5m (US$267.2m). The sale includes the popular bedtime drink brands Ovaltine and Ovomaltine as well as the Caotina chocolate drink and the Lacovo malt drink brands. ABF already has a stake in the hot beverage business through its Twinings tea subsidiary. "We are buying a business growing annual sales at 4%, which will give us critical mass in hot beverages, building on the strength of our Twinings tea," said ABF chief executive Peter Jackson in an interview quoted by Reuters.


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