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Czech Foodmaker To Split

May 19, 1998

PRAGUE, Czech Republic (AP) _ A Czech foodmaker will break into separate candy and cookie companies early next year to be more competitive, the company’s owners said today.

Cokoladovny of the Czech Republic is 85 percent-owned by Switzerland’s Nestle AS and France’s Danone.

It will be split into a chocolate and confectionery products company controlled by Nestle and a cookies and crackers company controlled by Danone.

Cokoladovny is listed on the Prague Stock Exchange. Institutional and individual shareholders own 15 percent of its shares.

In early 1999, Cokoladovny will cease to exist and shareholders will receive shares in the two new, unlisted companies, Nestle said in a news release.

Cokoladovny said the split is being proposed so the company can become a more effective competitor in markets across Europe.

``Both new concerns will have the ability to increase exports and benefit from better integration,″ the company said in a press release.

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