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Thu, Feb 22, 2001 EST
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Coke, P&G; Join to Create New Company
Associated Press
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NEW YORK — Care for a Minute Maid fruit juice to wash down your Pringles potato chips? Procter & Gamble Co. and Coca-Cola Co. sure hope so.

The consumer-products giants announced Wednesday they are forming a jointly owned company to sell their drinks and snacks. The new company, with about 40 brands, 6,000 employees and 15 manufacturing plants, would have annual sales of around $4.2 billion, Coke and P&G; said in a statement.

Coke will contribute to the new company its Minute Maid juice division, which includes Hi-C and Five-Alive beverages, plus its Fruitopia drink. P&G; will contribute Pringles chips and Sunny Delight juice drinks. Both companies will own 50 percent of the new venture, as yet unnamed.

"This new company will focus all of its resources on becoming the global learder in innovative snacks and nutritional beverages," Douglas Daft, chairman and CEO of Coca-Cola, and A.G. Lafley, president and CEO of Procter & Gamble, said in a joint statement. "It multiplies our respective strengths, creating something better than either of our companies could do alone — it's the perfect combination."

Coke will bring its global distribution system to the table, while P&G; boasts research expertise. It will have its own management and two directors from each parent company. Veteran Coke executive Donald Short will be the chief executive officer.

Shares of the Atlanta based Coke were down $2.90 to $55.57 in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange, where shares of the Cincinnati-based P&G; were up 50 cents to $76.21.

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