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Cott Exploring Deals

The news comes amid Cadbury deal speculation.
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Cott (COT) - Get Cott Corporation Report confirmed Friday it "is exploring the potential benefits of participating in possible industry consolidation."

The news comes as shares of the Canadian private-label softdrink maker surged 18% amid reports that Cott was in talks to acquire the drinks business of



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Cadbury, under pressure from activist investors, said last month it would move to separate its beverages unit from its chocolate business.

Cott cautioned Friday that it "is focused on driving our organic business forward," referring to the growth not reflecting acquisitions, and "there has been no decision regarding a change in strategy." But it also added that its "goal has always been to profitably grow our business and enhance shareowner value and that continues to be our focus."

Shares were halted Friday after jumping $2.31 early to $15.25.