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San Miguel/Coke Joint Venture Looks for Deal with Nestle, Disney

MANILA - The Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines Inc. (CCBPI), a joint venture between beer giant San Miguel Corp. and The Coca-Cola Co., said today it was eyeing deals with Swiss food firm Nestle S.A. and Walt Disney to expand its non-carbonated drinks line, Reuters reports.

CCBPI President Genaro Lopez told reporters the company was hoping to manufacture Nestle's Nestea Iced Tea products and seeking to replicate a U.S. deal where Disney tied up with Coca-Cola Co to manufacture beverages for kids.

"The strategy will be to bring the tie-ups abroad to the local market to strengthen Coca-Cola Bottlers' non-carbonated businesses," he said.

He did not say how much Coca-Cola Bottlers would have to invest for the deals.

Coca-Cola Bottlers, which is 65-percent owned by San Miguel with the balance held by Coca Cola Co, in October closed a deal for the purchase of an 83 percent stake in the country's second biggest soft drink firm, Cosmos, for 14 billion pesos, sealing its dominance of the local soft drink industry.

The deal, which Reuters calls the biggest corporate takeover in the country this year, gave Coca-Cola Bottlers around 90 percent of the estimated $1 billion a year soft drinks market.
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