BUSINESS
12/14/2011 06:32 EST | Updated 02/13/2012 05:12 EST

Coca-Cola pays $980 million for nearly half of Middle East beverage maker Aujan

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - Beverage maker Aujan Industries says Coca-Cola is buying up nearly half of the Saudi-based firm, giving the U.S. soda giant a major stake in one of the Middle East's top beverage companies.

Aujan said in a joint statement Wednesday that the deal is worth $980 million.

Under the terms of the deal, Atlanta-based Coca-Cola will get a 50 per cent stake in the part of Aujan that holds rights to the company's brands, and 49 per cent of its distribution company.

The deal doesn't include Aujan's manufacturing and distribution business in Iran, which is subject to multiple U.S. sanctions.

Aujan sells its popular Rani line of fruit drinks line and the nonalcoholic malt beverage Barbican throughout the Middle East.