Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages (CSAB) has acquired bottling and distribution company Southeast-Atlantic Beverage Corp. (SEABEV).

The company said yesterday (11 July) that the integration of SEABEV, the second-biggest independent bottling company in the US, will offer up over 20m consumers and a new manufacturing capability in the South east of the US.

SEABEV distributes much of CSAB's soft drink and premium beverage portfolio, as well as several licensed brands, throughout most of Florida and Northern Georgia. The company operates two manufacturing facilities and 16 warehouses and distribution centers from Miami to Atlanta.

SEABEV recently posted 2006 revenues of US$172m and will become the sixth bottling and distribution company to be integrated into the Cadbury Schweppes Bottling Group, part of CSAB.

CSAB president and CEO Gil Cassagne said: "Bringing SEABEV into the CSAB family is an important milestone in our continuing efforts to strengthen the route to market for our brands, which is a core strategy for our business. Having our bottling and concentrate operations under one roof also means greater alignment across our business, which allows us to respond to the changing demands of the marketplace and serve our customers more effectively than ever before."

CSBG president and chief operating officer Larry Young said: "The coast-to-coast footprint of our Bottling Group operations gives us the opportunity to produce our brands closer to the customer, which drives costs out of our supply chain and more efficiently gets our products to market."

Other recent CSAB acquisitions include All-American Bottling Corp, Seven-Up Bottling Co., Hattiesburg Beverage Co. and Dr Pepper Bottling Co.