Bouquet for Cadbury

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CADBURY Schweppes, the sweets and fizzy drinks company, has paid pounds 18m for the French chocolate concern Bouquet D'Or, writes Robert Cole.

Bouquet makes up-market boxed assortments aimed at the seasonal sales peaks at Christmas and Easter. It is best known, however, for a chocolate-coated bear-shaped marshmallow called Le Petit Oursin.

Turnover for the year to last April was pounds 29m and the company will be run by managers at Cadbury's operation in France at Chocolat Poulain.

The company said the deal would be financed from cash resources. In September Cadbury raised pounds 324m in a rights issue that funded the acquisition of the US root beer maker, A&W Brands, less than a month after it paid pounds 120m for a 20 per cent stake in Dr Pepper/Seven Up.