Coca-Cola ups stake in U.K. smoothie maker

by Eric Schroeder
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LONDON — The Coca-Cola Co. has reached agreement with London-based smoothie maker Innocent Drinks to acquire the majority of the latter’s remaining shares in the company.

Founded in 1999, Innocent sells natural health products in more than 15 countries and employs more than 250 people across Europe. In addition to 100% pure fruit smoothies, the company offers orange juice and “veg pots” (a soup-like product featuring whole grains, vegetables, sauces, herbs and spices packaged in a plastic container). The company generates approximately £200 million ($303 million) in sales.

“We remain confident in the long-term growth potential of the company and the team and consider the brand values as fundamental to continued success,” said James Quincey, president of Coca-Cola Europe. “We are excited about the future and getting Innocent’s products to more people in more countries with the valuable input and continued support of the founders.”

The transaction is subject to governmental approvals.
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