Coca-Cola, illycaffe set up coffee joint venture

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New Delhi, Oct 16 (UNI) Leading beverage maker Coca-Cola Company and and Italian premium coffee roaster illycaffe have signed an agreement to set up a joint venture to expand in a 10 billion dollars ready-to-drink (RTD) coffee market.

The joint venture would focus on the premium RTD coffee segment, but the details of brands and distribution were yet to be finalised as the two companies aim to sign the final deal by the end of 2007, they said in a joint statement.

The RTD coffee category globally is valued at just under 10 billion dollars and has been growing rapidly over the past few years, with global growth rate, excluding Japan, of about 10 per cent in the past five years, they said.

''We will be able to bring our brand building and distribution expertise together with illy's premium brand reputation,'' Coca-Cola's President and Chief Operating Officer Muhtar Kent said.

UNI

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