Coca-Cola completes deal for juice in Middle East

Associated Press Modified: September 24, 2012 at 10:45 am •  Published: September 24, 2012

ATLANTA (AP) — The Coca-Cola Co. said Monday that it completed its $980 million deal to buy roughly half of one of the Middle East's biggest independent beverage companies.

The world's biggest beverage company announced the deal to buy Saudi Arabia's Aujan Industries last year.

Aujan sells the popular Rani line of fruit drinks and the nonalcoholic malt beverage Barbican throughout the Middle East. It also holds the regional license for Vimto, a British spiced fruit drink that is popular with many Muslims celebrating the holy month of Ramadan.

Under the deal, Coca-Cola bought a 50 percent stake in the part of Aujan that holds rights to the company's brands, and 49 percent of its distribution company.

Coca-Cola said the acquisition expands its lineup of juice products and helps boost value for its shareholders.

The Atlanta-based company said the deal is part of its plan, announced in October 2011, to invest $5 billion in the Middle East and North Africa region over the next 10 years.

Coca-Cola shares rose 2 cents to $38.05 in morning trading.

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