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SINGAPORE: F&N eyes expansion as Coca-Cola Co deal ends

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Fraser and Neave (F&N) has said that it will look to expand its regional presence and brand portfolio following the end of its partnership with The Coca-Cola Co.

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F&N has held a contract with Coca-Cola for the past 75 years, through which F&N bottled and sold Coca-Cola's drinks in Malaysia, while Coca-Cola did the same for F&N in Singapore. However, the two firms officially ended their partnership last week, after Coca-Cola decided back in 2009 not to extend its contract further with the Singapore-based firm. F&N said that ending the partnership was also a direction that it was heading towards.

As a result, F&N has now regained control of all local sales and distribution operations for its beverages business, allowing it "reap the growth opportunities available in the Singapore beverage sector".

"We have been working hard towards this day, when we will finally have all our soft drinks brands back under our stable," said outgoing F&N food and beverage CEO, Koh Poh Tiong. "We are poised to extend our product range and further expand the footprint of our brands beyond our current markets. We are eager to participate in the enormous growth potential that await us in the region."

As a result of the contract end, F&N subsidiary F&N Foods will become the sole distributor of all beverages in Singapore, while the company's Malaysian subsidiary, Fraser & Neave Holdings, will cover Malaysia and Brunei. Coca-Cola will continue to bottle its own drinks at its Tuas plant in Singapore.

Poh Tiong said F&N will now accelerate the launch of two new products - 100Plus Edge isotonic drink and F&N Clearly Citrus CSD. Both will launch this month.

"We have a rich innovation pipeline and we will expand our product range to cater to the latest consumer beverage preferences," the CEO said. "The next quarter of 2011 promises to be an exciting one for F&N."

F&N announced the retirement of Poh Tiong in August. He will be replaced by Pascal de Petrini from this month.


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