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Coca-Cola, bottlers reach deal on Glaceau brands distribution

ATLANTA - The Coca-Cola Co., the world's largest beverage maker, said Thursday that it has reached agreements with its bottlers to distribute products from Vitaminwater maker Glaceau, which Coca-Cola acquired earlier this year.

The Atlanta-based company said Coca-Cola bottlers representing 99 percent of the company's U.S. bottler-delivered volume have signed on to distribute the Glaceau brands.

Several current Glaceau distributors will also continue distribution of the Glaceau brands in certain territories, Coca-Cola said. In some areas, the Glaceau portfolio of brands will be managed directly by Coca-Cola North America's Glaceau unit.

Distribution of Glaceau products through these bottlers and distributors is expected to begin before the end of this year, Coca-Cola said.

Financial terms of the agreements were not disclosed.

Coca-Cola officials said the agreements will help the company boost growth of Glaceau products.

Coca-Cola completed its $4.1 billion purchase of Glaceau in June.

Coca-Cola's purchase of Glaceau, also known as Energy Brands, was Coke's largest acquisition ever.

Carbonated drink makers are trying to expand their product offerings to juice and other non-carbonated beverages to meet shifting consumer tastes.

Also Thursday, Coca-Cola said it will discontinue U.S. sales of its coffee-infused drink Coca-Cola Blak when current stocks run out. Sales of the drink, which Coca-Cola announced in 2005 it would launch, are expected to continue overseas, Coca-Cola spokesman Scott Williamson said.

Coca-Cola shares fell 11 cents to close at $53.40 on Thursday.