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Mergers News

UPDATE 1-Coca-Cola to buy juice and tea maker Fuze

NEW YORK, Feb 1 (Reuters) - Coca-Cola Co. KO.N plans to buy Fuze Beverages LLC, maker of several brands of juices and flavored teas, Coca-Cola said on Thursday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Coca-Cola, known globally for its soft drinks, has bought a number of other brands in the past few years as it attempts to diversify its offerings.

The planned acquisition of Fuze is an “example of how we are expanding our portfolio to meet the growing consumer demand for beverage variety and functionality,” Sandy Douglas, president of Coca-Cola North America, said in a statement.

Last November Coca-Cola launched a line of iced coffee drinks with Caribou Coffee, and in August it partnered with Godiva Chocolatier on Godiva Belgium Blends chocolate-coffee drinks.

If the acquisition of Fuze receives regulatory approval, completion is expected during the first quarter, Coca-Cola said in a release. Fuze would operate as a stand-alone entity of Coca-Cola Co.

Fuze makes such drink brands as Vitalize, Tea, Slenderize, Refresh and WaterPlus, and owns the license rights to the NOS Energy Drink brands.

((Reporting by Patrick Fitzgibbons and Sarah Coffey; editing by John Wallace; Reuters Messenger patrick.fitzgibbons.reuters.com@reuters.net; +1 646 223-6024)) Keywords: COCACOLA FUZE/

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