Coke weighing Cadbury''s Snapple acquisition

Mumbai: The Coca-Cola Company fresh from its $4.1 billion acquisition of Glaceau, maker of Vitaminwater, is weighing plans to acquire Snapple iced tea brand from Cadbury Schweppes PLC.

Alternatively, Coke may also opt to launch its own tea brand. "We're always looking at whether to build or buy," Coca-Cola spokesman Dana Bolden said without elaborating.

Reports, meanwhile, said the Atlanta-based Coca-Cola has approached some private equity funds that have been involved in bidding for Cadbury's US soft drinks business, which includes the Snapple brand.

UK-based Cadbury Schweppes had said in March that it planned to split its confectionery and soft drinks businesses, apparently under pressure from investors led by US billionaire Nelson Peltz. Coca-Cola, the world's largest beverage maker, has been working to expand its non-carbonated beverage portfolio, as more customers migrate to buying juice, tea and bottled water.

Cadbury Schweppes acquired the Snapple Beverage Group from Triarc Companies Inc. in October last year for an enterprise value of $1.45 billion (£986 million).

US-based Snapple owns beverage brands that include Snapple, Mistic, Stewart's and Royal Crown Cola. Snapple is the leading brand in the profitable and high growth premium ready-to-drink tea and juice sector of the New Age beverage market.