FRANCE: French groups eye Cadbury drinks arm

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Several French private-equity firms may be looking at acquiring the European drinks division of Cadbury Schweppes, according to press reports.

The newswire service Dow Jones has reported that France's PAI Partners and Eurazeo are interested in the Cadbury Schweppes operations, according to sources close to the situation.

The French companies join a list of potential candidates that includes US and UK-based private-equity firms.

Cadbury is the market leader in France for fruit-based beverages.

The US private-equity firm Carlyle Group is thought to be the leading contender to buy the division at present, although another equity group KKR is also rumoured to be interested.

Carlyle is though to have lined up Nish Kankiwala, formerly of Pepsico Inc, to lead its bid.

Estimates suggest a sale of the European unit will fetch GBP1BN.

Sectors: Soft drinks

Companies: Cadbury

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