Nestle and The Coca-Cola Company plan to refocus the activities of their Beverage Partners Worldwide (BPW) joint venture on ready-to-drink black tea beverages. The transaction, which is subject to certain regulatory approvals, is expected to close in early 2007.

Both companies said they believe a concentrated focus on black tea beverages by the joint venture throughout its territory will accelerate the growth and bolster the market presence of BPW. The green tea-based functional drink Enviga, recently launched in the US and scheduled for rollout in Europe in 2007, will also be marketed through the existing joint venture.

As part of the agreement Coke and Nestle will independently develop, produce and market ready-to-drink coffee and non-black tea based beverages in a bid to tap the rapidly growing segments. The multi-national partners said they plan to expand their offerings in these categories by identifying new products and creating a broader choice for consumers.

BPW, a 50/50 joint venture, was created in 2001 following a period of 10 years during which Nestle and Coca-Cola cooperated in a joint venture called Coca-Cola and Nestle Refreshments (CCNR).