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J.W. Childs Is Buyer

By Published on .

CINCINNATI (AdAge.com) -- Procter & Gamble Co. said yesterday it agreed to sell its Sunny Delight and Punica drink brands to J.W. Childs Associates, a Boston private equity firm, for an undisclosed amount.

P&G put the brands up for sale last

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year after several years of eroding market shares. In the U.S., Sunny Delight lost ground to the value-priced Tampico brand and faced restrictions on its marketing following a 2002 settlement with the Florida Department of Citrus, which objected to advertising and retail shelving tactics it said made the drink, which contains 5% fruit juice, appear to be orange juice.

The brand also lost momentum in the U.K. market in 2000 after media reports of a young girl turning orange from ingesting large quantities of the drink and the beta carotene used to color it.

Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi handles the brands in the U.S. and overseas.

The newly formed Sunny Delight Beverages Co. will have six manufacturing facilities and 700 employees, with J.W. Childs operating partner Ray Rudy becoming chairman and William Cyr, now vice president and general manager of P&G's North American juice business, becoming CEO.

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