The offer for brands including Orangina is subject to talks with worker representatives and must be approved by European Union regulators, London-based Cadbury said today in a statement.
The business is expected to report sales of about 1 billion euros in 2005, the buyout firms said in a separate release. The sale will give Cadbury, the worlds third-biggest soft- drink maker, more money to spend on new drinks and advertising in the faster-growing US market to compete with Coca-Cola Co and PepsiCo Inc.
First-half sales at the European drinks business fell 1% as the US unit reported a 5% gain. We see this as a good move since Cadbury did not have the necessary size and strength in Western Europe, said Edouard Dubuis, who helps oversee assets worth about $31 billion at Clariden Bank in Zurich, including Cadbury shares. Cadbury stock fell 3 pence to 564.5 pence in London, valuing the company at 11.7 billion pounds ($20.1 billion).
Atlanta-based Coca-Cola has gained 1.3%, while shares of Purchase, New York-based PepsiCo have risen 12%.
Perrier-Jouet Blackstone, which is seeking $12.5 billion for the worlds biggest buyout fund, and London-based Lion Capital LLP, whose investments have included Branston pickle and Perrier-Jouet champagne, will be equal partners in the business, they said.