Feb 02, 2006

Lion Capital and Blackstone acquire European Beverages Division of Cadbury Schweppes plc

London 2nd February 2006: The Blackstone Group International (“Blackstone”) and Lion Capital LLP (“Lion Capital”), on behalf of funds advised by each of them, have acquired, as equal partners, the European Beverages division of Cadbury Schweppes plc, formally known as “CSEB” now “Orangina SAS”. This follows clearance from the EU regulators and a consultation process that has taken place with employee representatives.

Orangina SAS will continue to operate as it did under its previous owners. The management remains in place with Javier Ferran, former President and Chief Executive of Baccardi, acting as Chairman. Both Blackstone and Lion Capital look forward to working with management to invest and develop the brands in their core territories.

Notes to Editors:

About Orangina SAS
“Orangina SAS’” is the number three player in the European soft drinks market with sales volumes of 1.8 billion litres and turnover of almost €960 million.

“Orangina SAS'” principal products are carbonated soft drinks, mineral waters and still drinks. Its main brands are Schweppes, Orangina, TriNa, Oasis and La Casera, which account for around 75% of sales. Other brands include Apollinaris, Pampryl, Gini and Vida. Products are sold across Continental Europe, with some sales in the UK, parts of North and West Africa and the Middle East. Sales are concentrated in three countries, France, Spain and Germany, which account for around 85% of total sales.

The business has wholly owned bottling operations in Germany, Spain, Portugal and Belgium and a production arrangement with San Benedetto in France. In other countries, the business operates through licence agreements with third party manufacturers and distributors. The business has around 3,000 employees.

On an IFRS basis, Orangina SAS’ revenue, underlying EBITDA and underlying operating profit for the financial year ended 2 January 2005 were €958 million, €205 million and €171 million respectively. The value of Orangina SAS gross assets was €1482 million at 19 June 2005 and net assets as at the same date were €959 million.

About Lion
Lion Capital is a private equity investment firm based in London. The firm’s principals have been investing private equity in Europe since the early 1990s and have invested approximately €2billion in companies across Europe. Lion Capital is a recognised leader in investing in consumer branded businesses and the firm’s investment strategy is underpinned by insight, commercial knowledge and a network of contacts gained over many years of having invested in this sector. For more information please visit: www.lioncapital.com

About Blackstone
The Blackstone Group, a global investment and advisory firm with offices in New York, Atlanta, Boston, Los Angeles, London, Hamburg, Paris and Mumbai, was founded in 1985. The firm has raised a total of more than $45bln for alternative asset investing since its formation. Approximately $25bln of that has been for private equity investing. Blackstone’s other core businesses include private real estate investing, distressed securities, marketable alternative investments, restructuring and reorganization advisory and corporate advisory services. For more information please visit: www.blackstone.com