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    Coca-Cola to Purchase FUZE Beverages

    Soft drink maker energizes offerings with FUZE's lineup of energy and functional beverages.

    ATLANTA -- The Coca-Cola Co., headquartered here, signed agreements to purchase Englewood, N.J.-based FUZE Beverage, LLC, maker of enhanced juices, teas and licensed energy beverages.

    The acquisition includes all of FUZE's brands, including the Vitalize, Refresh, FUZE Tea and Slenderize lines under the FUZE trademark. In addition it includes the company's WaterPlus enhanced water products and licensed rights to its NOS energy drink line.

    "We believe the FUZE brands will be a strong complement to our beverage portfolio and an excellent addition to the Coca-Cola System," said Sandy Douglas, president of Coca-Cola North America. "This is yet another example of how we are expanding our portfolio to meet the growing consumer demands for beverage variety and functionality through innovation, business partnerships and acquisitions."

    Under the agreements, FUZE will operate as a stand-alone entity of the Coca-Cola Co. Since FUZE launched in 2001, the company introduced more than 40 new products and line extensions. The company uses real fruit juice, vitamins and antioxidants without artificial preservatives or colors. Currently, 20 of Coke's bottlers distribute FUZE beverages, and will continue to do so after the purchase. Coke anticipates FUZE's distribution will expand significantly after the purchase is competes according to the company.

    "We are very excited to join the Coca-Cola Company and we see this as a great opportunity to further accelerate the growth of our brand portfolio and take the business to the next level," said Lance Colins, founder and chief executive officer, FUZE Beverages.

    Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The acquisition is subject to regulatory clearance and other terms and conditions. Coca-Cola expects the acquisition to be completed by the first quarter of 2007.

    The acquisition of FUZE is another step the company is taking in the non-carbonated beverage category, In November, Coca-Cola North America partnered with Caribou Coffee to launch a line of premium ready to drink iced coffees. In August, the company launched a line of Godiva Belgian Blends, in partnership with Godiva chocolatier. In addition, Coke introduced Gold Peak ready to drink iced tea through the Nestea brand and Beverage Partners Worldwide, the company's joint venture with Nestle.

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