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Celsius inks deal with Mario Lopez

BY Allison Cerra

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. Celsius Holdings announced that Mario Lopez, host of “America’s Best Dance Crew,” and “Extra,” will be the national spokesman for Celsius, the company’s popular calorie-burning functional drink.

Lopez will be included in 2010 marketing initiatives and will help promote Celsius to the company’s growing list of national retailers. Additional details of the agreement were not released.

“I’m excited to have the chance to let America know more about Celsius. I’ve been drinking Celsius for a while because it gives me the energy I need to get through my busy day, along with the ingredients that you want to have in your body,” Lopez said. “No other drink gives me the sustained energy to handle everything without the crash.”

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Kraft Foods seeks to reel in Cadbury; bid rejected

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK Kraft Foods again launched a hostile bid for British confectionary Cadbury, according to published reports.

Kraft Foods said Monday it offered a $16.3 billion hostile takeover bid, the same price it offered Cadbury in September. Cadbury rejected the bid Monday.

“Cadbury is an exceptional standalone business,” said Roger Carr, chairman of Cadbury, in a statement. “Kraft’s offer does not come remotely close to reflecting the true value of our company, and involves the unattractive prospect of the absorption of Cadbury into a low-growth conglomerate business model.”

Carr added that, “The repetition of a proposal which is now of less value and lower than the current Cadbury share price does not make it any more attractive. As a result, [the board] has emphatically rejected this derisory offer and has strengthened its resolve to ensure the true value of Cadbury is fully understood by all.”

Kraft did not increase its bid for Cadbury before taking the matter to shareholders.

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Dr Pepper Snapple Group notes rise in EPS in Q3

BY Allison Cerra

PLANO, Texas Dr Pepper Snapple Group Thursday reported third-quarter 2009 earnings of $151 million, or 59 cents per share, a 30.5% increase from the year-ago period.

The beverage maker also reported that its earnings per share were 54 cents, compared with 45 cents last year, excluding separation-related costs and restructuring items. Year-to-date, the company reported earnings of $1.73 per share, a 42.9% increase over the prior-year period. Year-to-date earnings per share were $1.53, compared with $1.46 excluding distribution agreement changes, separation-related costs, and restructuring items.

For the quarter, however, reported net sales were down 4% to $1.4 billion. The company noted that pricing action taken this year, coupled with 4% volume growth were offset by higher sales of carbonated soft drink concentrate and value juices.

Reported income from operations was $272 million, compared with $213 million in the prior-year period.

DPS president and CEO Larry Young said, “While the economy is showing some signs of recovery, it’s still too early to see this translate into higher beverage sales. For the quarter, liquid refreshment beverage trends remained negative. Against this backdrop, we once again demonstrated the power of our portfolio and the flexibility of our routes to market, posting solid top-line and strong bottom-line growth. A year and a half into our life as a public company, we’re proud of what we have accomplished so far. Our priorities and strategies remain unchanged and continue to support long-term sustainable growth.”

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