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Coke buys Dr. Pepper distribution for $715 million

In a much-anticipated acquisition deal, Coke is paying Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc $715 million for the right to sell Dr. Pepper and other soft drinks once Coke acquires its biggest North American bottler. The deal includes drink distribution deals for Canada Dry, C'Plus and Schweppes, and a plan to include Dr. Pepper and Diet Dr. Pepper in its new Freestyle soda fountains, which offer customers over 100 drink flavor combinations.

Dr. Pepper was down in trading upon the news, as some investors were expecting more. Coke shares were flat.

The new deal is set to last for 20 years with options to renew. The acquisition is expected to be final by the end of the fourth quarter.

Dr. Pepper was invented in 1885 by Charles Aderton in Waco, Texas, a year before Dr. John S. Pemberton invented Coca-Cola in Atlanta, Ga.

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