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Times Staff and Wire Reports

Coca-Cola Bottler to Buy British Unit: Coca-Cola Enterprises said it will purchase the British bottling operation shared by Coca-Cola Co. and Cadbury Schweppes for $1.85 billion, a move that would dramatically expand its presence in Europe. The deal would make Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Enterprises the sole bottler of Coca-Cola and Cadbury Schweppes products in England, Scotland, Wales and the Isle of Man. The world’s largest Coke bottler is already buying Coca-Cola’s operations in France and Belgium for $915 million in a separate transaction announced last month. Coca-Cola & Schweppes Beverage is 51%-owned by Cadbury Schweppes and 49% by Coca-Cola Co. Coca-Cola Enterprises’ shares closed at a 52-week high of $34.375, up $2.75, on the New York Stock Exchange.


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