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Novartis, PepsiCo End Functional Foods Venture

ZURICH - Swiss healthcare group Novartis AG and U.S. drinks and snack food giant PepsiCo Inc. have ended their functional foods joint venture less than two years after its launch, Reuters reports.

A company spokesman said Novartis and PepsiCo decided to pull the plug on the U.S. functional foods venture during a review of the business that followed PepsiCo's acquisition of Quaker Oats Co -- Novartis's original partner -- last year.

"In light of this (takeover) we discussed with PepsiCo the venture we had formed with Quaker Oats and came to the conclusion that we would close the joint venture as of December 2001," he said. "The financial implications are minimal because the activities of the venture were very limited and confined themselves to market tests. No products were launched."

He said he could not comment on whether the decision meant the Swiss drugs giant is giving up on functional foods.
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