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The Coca-Cola Company Announces Plans To Purchase FUZE Beverage LLC

February 22, 2007
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Purchase includes all FUZE and WaterPlus brands plus licensing rights to NOS Energy Drink brand; Major additions to Coca-Cola's enhanced juice and tea portfolio

ATLANTA, Feb. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- The Coca-Cola Company today announced that it has signed an agreement to purchase FUZE Beverage, LLC, maker of FUZE(R) enhanced juices and teas. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

The acquisition, which is subject to regulatory clearance and certain other terms and conditions, includes all FUZE Beverage, LLC brands, including the Vitalize, Refresh, Tea, and Slenderize lines under the FUZE trademark, WaterPlus enhanced water products, and license rights to the NOS(R) Energy Drink brands.

If approved, the transfer of ownership is expected to occur within the first quarter of 2007, and FUZE will operate as a stand-alone entity of The Coca-Cola Company.

"We believe the FUZE brands will be a strong complement to our beverage portfolio and an excellent addition to the Coca-Cola System," said Sandy Douglas, president, Coca-Cola North America (CCNA). "This is yet another example of how we are expanding our portfolio to meet the growing consumer demand for beverage variety and functionality through innovation, business partnerships and acquisitions."

FUZE beverages are among the fastest-growing brands in the categories in which they compete. Since the launch of the first FUZE products in 2001, the company has grown rapidly and established itself as an innovative force, launching more than forty new products and line extensions. This spirit of innovation is captured in the FUZE brand's colorful and artistic packaging, which has quickly become the brand's signature, and in their unique and complex flavor blends which feature real juice, vitamins, and antioxidants without artificial preservatives or colors.

"Expanding our beverage portfolio is an important strategic priority for Coca-Cola Enterprises, and we believe FUZE's innovative lineup of distinctive non-carbonated brands will significantly enhance our product portfolio," said John F. Brock, president and chief executive officer, Coca-Cola Enterprises.

Twenty Coca-Cola bottlers currently distribute FUZE beverages and will continue to do so after the proposed purchase by The Coca-Cola Company. "We have distributed FUZE beverages in our territory for several years and they have been very popular with both our customers and consumers," said Claude Nielsen, chief executive officer, Coca-Cola United. "We look forward to working with CCNA to achieve even greater success together." CCNA anticipates that distribution of FUZE beverages will expand significantly as a result of the proposed purchase.

"We are very excited to join The Coca-Cola Company and we see this as a great opportunity to further accelerate the growth of our brand portfolio and take the business to the next level," said Lance Collins, founder and chief executive officer, FUZE Beverage, LLC.

The acquisition of FUZE Beverage, LLC is the latest in a series of recent actions by CCNA to expand its beverage portfolio. In November 2006, CCNA and Caribou Coffee announced plans to launch a new line of premium ready-to-drink iced coffees this summer. In August, CCNA launched a new line of premium indulgent beverages, Godiva Belgian Blends, in partnership with Godiva Chocolatier. Godiva initially launched in the Northeast U.S. and has now expanded into the Midwest and Southeast U.S., with volume double original expectations. Last summer's reformulation and restaging of Nestea ready-to- drink (RTD) teas was followed by the launch of the new Gold Peak RTD tea by Beverage Partners Worldwide (North America) (BPW), the Company's 50/50 joint venture with Nestle, SA. Far Coast, a collection of premium brewed beverages, was launched in a special "concept store" in Toronto, ON, Canada in September and is currently being rolled out to other retail customers in the Greater Toronto Area. The category-creating calorie burner, Enviga, was launched regionally in November by BPW, and will roll out nationally this month.

 

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