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Coke, P&G Call Off Deal

September 26, 2001

CINCINNATI (AP) _ Coca-Cola Co. and Procter & Gamble Co. said Wednesday that they have scrapped plans for a $4 billion joint venture that would have included brands such as Minute Maid juice and Pringles potato chips.

The companies announced plans for the venture in February, but more recently had been scaling back the enterprise. In August, Coke informed the Securities and Exchange Commission that the companies would instead focus on a smaller business to create and market new products.

With a one-paragraph statement Wednesday, Coke and P&G officially dumped the project.

The joint statement said the companies ``will independently pursue opportunities to grow their respective businesses, instead of pursuing a joint business for health and wellness beverages and the distribution of snacks, as previously announced.″

In February, Coke and P&G said they hoped the venture would result in more than $4 billion in sales. Atlanta-based Coke would contribute its Minute Maid juices, Fruitopia and Hi-C beverages, while P&G, based in Cincinnati, offered Pringles chips and Sunny Delight juice.

Coke executives were excited about tapping into Procter & Gamble’s vast research on consumer products, while P&G would gain access to Coke’s marketing and distribution resources.

Analysts had criticized the venture as a poor move for Coke, which risked saddling its growing Minute Maid juices with Pringles and Sunny Delight, brands that haven’t fared as well.

In trading Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange, Coke shares fell $1.11 to close at $46.89 while Procter & Gamble shares rose 13 cents to $71.13.

___

On the Net:

Coca-Cola: http://www.cocacola.com

Procter & Gamble: http://www.pg.com

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