Cadbury Schweppes today announces the acquisition of the business of Wuxi-Leaf Confectionery Co. Ltd., a company which markets, sells and manufactures sugar free and low sugar chewing gum in China. The value of the assets acquired is CNY 21 million (1.58 million pounds sterling). The acquisition also includes local trademarks such as the SPORTLIFE and POLI gum brands.

Wuxi-Leaf has number 2 position in the sugar free chewing gum market in China. Situated in the city of Wuxi near a major freeway, two hours west of Shanghai, Wuxi-Leaf operates in the largest and fastest growing confectionery market in China. The total gum market in China, worth US$79 million (in 1998), is estimated to be worth double that in 2003. The sugar free segment of that market is expected to almost triple, from roughly 2% (in 1998) to 6% in 2003.

This acquisition offers the opportunity for Cadbury Schweppes to achieve synergies with its existing Asia Pacific operations, for example, in distribution and the development of export markets.

John Brock, Chief Operating Officer of Cadbury Schweppes, commented, “The acquisition of Wuxi-Leaf emphasises our commitment to growth markets and underlines our strategy of building strong brands and businesses.”