Cadbury Schweppes was in a post-Christmas buying and selling mood yesterday, announcing two deals.
It sold another non-core business by agreeing to offload its Holland House brand of cooking wines for $37 million (£21.3 million).
Mizkan Americas, which specialises in vinegars and condiments, will buy the US-based division.
The deal follows last week's $30 million (£17.3 million) sale o f Cadbury's US-based Grandma's Molasses business, which produces unprocessed sugar cane juice used in cooking.
It was snapped up by B&G Foods - completion is expected early next year.
Also early next year Cadbury is set to seal the disposal of its European soft drinks arm, which includes brands such a Schweppes, Orangina and Oasis in a $1.85 billion (£1.27 billion) deal with private equity firms Blackstone and Lion Capital.
It will use the proceeds to pay down its debt mountain and focus on its faster growing confectionery and other beverage businesses.
And Cadbury Schweppes is buying Tahincioglu Holdings' 30 per cent stake in Kent, Turkey's second-largest sweet and gum maker, for about £55 million.
As a result, Cadbury has increased its stake in Kent to 95 per cent.
On December 13, Cadbury said it was in talks to buy the stake, having acquired a 65 per cent holding in 2002.
The group employs more than 50,000 people around the world, including about 7,000 at eight UK sites, including Bournville in Birmingham.
It claims to be the world's largest confectionery company.
Products include brands such as Halls, Trident, Dr Pepper, Snapple, Trebor, Dentyne, Bubblicious and Bassett.
Meanwhile fast-growing organic chocolate maker Green & Black's, part of Cadbury Schweppes, is seeking to persuade cocoa growers to switch to organic from conventional farming in order to sustain its expansion plans.
It styles itself as the UK's leading organic chocolate maker, having multiplied annual sales almost tenfold in recent years to £30 million as tastes have shifted towards premium confectionery.
G&B, which began as a small family-owned concern 14 years ago, estimates it now has a 6.4 per cent share of large-block chocolate bars sold in the UK.
"We believe we are using a quarter of the world's organic beans," marketing director
Mark Palmer said. "To meet our growth target will be impossible unless we persuade farmers to convert to organic."
In producing regions, the conversion process would take four years.
"We have to source the beans. It means giving the farmers longer-term security," added Mr Palmer, referring to the increased incomes farmers would receive from organic beans.
He said the recent acquisition of G&B by Cadbury would give the company long-term stability of ownership as it sought to boost supplies of organic beans.
Organic chocolate demand has surged in Britain as consumers increasingly favour foods perceived as free of chemical inputs such as pesticides.
G&B has devised a strategy to target consumers most likely to pay a premium for its product.
It identifies four customer segments - those with a taste for adventurous foods; those who have little time but seek quality fare; those who appreciate luxury in their daily lives; and those who buy foods because it is organic.
The firm has close ties with supermarket chain Waitrose - part of the John Lewis Part-nership. Some 30 per cent of G&B's chocolate bars are sold in Waitrose stores.
Cadbury shares rose 12p to 554.5p. ..SUPL: