Cadbury Schweppes splits in two

LONDON —Cadbury Schweppes announced plans March 15 to split into two companies—one focusing on drinks, the other on confectionery—after bowing under pressure from investors led by U.S. billionaire Nelson Peltz.

The announcement came days after the company revealed Peltz’s investment vehicle, Trian Fund Management, had taken an almost 3 percent stake in the company.

The company intends to separate its U.S. soft drinks business, which produces such beverages as Snapple and Dr. Pepper, from its confectionery business, which produces such brands as Dairy Milk chocolate and Trident gum.

Cadbury chief executive officer Todd Stitzer said the announcement was the “culmination of a process that’s extended over two to three years,” but acknowledged that Peltz influenced the timing of the plan.

The company had been under increasing pressure to revert to its origins as a confectionery company. Cadbury’s confectionery business accounts for about 60 percent of the group’s revenue, with beverages accounting for the remaining 40 percent.

The market reacted positively, with Cadbury shares rising 3 percent to close at $12 on the London Stock Exchange.

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