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Dr Pepper buys Bai for $1.7B, ups low-calorie game

NEW YORK (AP) — Dr Pepper Snapple Group will pay $1.7 billion for Bai Brands, a fruity drink maker that counts pop star Justin Timberlake as an investor.

It said Tuesday that Bai will help the company expand into the low-calorie beverage market. Bai markets its drinks as having 5 calories, antioxidants and no artificial sweeteners. Dr Pepper Snapple’s brands include its namesake Dr Pepper soda, A&W root beer and Canada Dry ginger ale.

Bai announced in October that Timberlake was an investor, but didn’t provide financial details. The “SexyBack” singer said at the time that he was a fan of the drinks and would work on new flavors and marketing campaigns for the brand.

Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc., based in Plano, expects Bai to generate about $425 million in sales next year.

The deal for the Hamilton, New Jersey, company is expected to close early next year.

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