USA: Seven up announces plans to buy Slush Puppie

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Texas-based Dr Pepper/Seven Up, Inc. today announced an agreement to acquire the assets of Cincinnati, Ohio-based Slush Puppie Corporation for $16.6 million. Slush Puppie had net sales of $25 million in 1999 and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of $2.7 million. The transaction is expected to close next month.

Founded in 1970, Slush Puppie manufactures frozen, non-carbonated beverages primarily sold as self-serve fountain products in addition to frozen cocktails served in restaurants and bars. The company also provides frozen slush-making equipment, point-of-sale materials and support services.

''Slush Puppie will be a terrific addition to the Dr Pepper/Seven Up portfolio, with a tremendous potential to expand our fountain business,'' said Doug Tough, Dr Pepper/Seven Up, Inc. president and CEO. ''This is a value- based acquisition that complements our existing business and allows us to immediately begin exploring non-carbonated frozen product extensions for soft drink brands in our portfolio.''

Slush Puppie products include fruit flavored Slush Puppie, Vita Pup, a fruit juice-based slush, Pacific Bay SmoothE, Thelma's soft frozen lemonade, Lanikai frozen cocktails, CaFreezo frozen cappuccino and hot cappuccino. The company has trademark registrations in more than 40 countries and sells its products through a worldwide network of more than 100 licensed distributors.

''I am pleased that Dr Pepper/Seven Up will continue the brand I founded 30 years ago. There is so much additional growth potential,'' stated Will Radcliff, who is the
sole stockholder of Slush Puppie Corporation. ''I know the brand will be in good hands.''

Dr Pepper/Seven Up, Inc. is the leading non-cola soft drink enterprise in North America, with about 16 percent of the market. It is also the largest division of London-based confectionery and beverage giant Cadbury Schweppes plc (NYSE: CSG; London: CBRY). In addition to Dr Pepper and 7 UP, the company's other leading brands include A&W, Sunkist, Canada Dry, Schweppes, Hawaiian Punch and Squirt, in addition to RC Cola.

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