Sunny Delight to acquire Fruit20, Veryfine from Kraft

by Eric Schroeder
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CINCINNATI — Sunny Delight Beverages Co., a privately owned producer of juice-based drinks, has signed an agreement to acquire the Fruit20, Fuel20 and Veryfine brands from Northfield, Ill.-based Kraft Foods Inc. Terms of the transaction, which is expected to be completed during the fourth quarter, were not disclosed.

The brands being acquired had net revenues of approximately $135 million in 2006.

As part of the transaction, Sunny Delight will acquire the Veryfine plant in Littleton, Mass., as well as a packaging line at a Kraft facility in Fresno, Calif. In addition, approximately 200 Veryfine employees will join Sunny Delight.

"We welcome Veryfine employees and these brands to our portfolio," said Billy Cyr, chief executive officer of Sunny Delight. "This acquisition will further accelerate our growth and continue our commitment to bring more wholesome beverage choices to consumers. Fruit 20 is the leading zero calorie fruit flavored water, and Veryfine has been providing high quality beverages since 1865."

Rick Searer, Kraft executive vice-president and president, Kraft North America, said the brands no longer fit the company’s long-term growth strategies. Kraft acquired the brands in April 2004.

"Fruit20 and Veryfine are great brands that have found a wonderful home in Sunny Delight," Mr. Searer said. "However, for Kraft, we believe we will create greater long-term shareholder value by selling, rather than investing in, these brands."

Kraft said it expects to record a one-time, pre-tax asset impairment charge of approximately $125 million in the third quarter related to the sale.

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