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Ralph D. McRae
Chairman and CEO
Leading Brands, Inc.
Toll Free: 1-800-729-2746 ext. 238
South Beach Beverage
Leading Brands, Inc. and South Beach Beverage Co. Reach Agreement on Transition of SoBe Brand
Distribution for Canada
March 5, 2001--VANCOUVER, B.C.--LEADING BRANDS, INC.(NASDAQ:LBIX)
SOUTH BEACH LEADING BRANDS, INC.,
Canada's largest independent, fully integrated food and beverage brand management company and US based South Beach Beverage Co. the owner of the SoBe brand of beverages, are pleased to announce the transition of SoBe distribution in Canada to the Pepsi Bottling Group of Toronto, Ontario and Pepsi franchised bottlers and distributors, effective April 2, 2001.
Under the terms of their Agreement, South Beach will pay to Leading Brands a termination fee and certain other amounts as called forunder their license agreement and Leading Brands will continue to bottle the SoBe products in Canada under a new multi-year agreement.
SoBe Executive Vice President and Co-Founder, Tom Schwalm said: "Leading Brands was instrumental in making SoBe a huge success in Canada and we look forward to continuing our relationship with them as bottlers of our healthy refreshment beverages. Moving distribution of SoBe to Pepsi is not a reflection on Leading Brands or its efforts on behalf of the brand, but simply in keeping with our new corporate ownership."
Leading Brands Chairman & CEO Ralph D. McRae added: "Everyone in our company is proud of what we have been able to accomplish with SoBe. In less than two years we have made it the number one new age beverage in Canada. At the same time, however, we are very pleased with the financial terms of this new arrangement and our ability to remain involved in packaging the product." The details of the transaction were not disclosed.
About Leading Brands, Inc.:
Headquartered in Richmond, B.C., Canada, Leading Brands, Inc. is the largest independent food and beverage integrated brand management company in Canada. The Company's unique Integrated Distribution System (IDS) offers turnkey, one-stop shopping to food and beverage brand owners. Its Quick.com, Inc. subsidiary is building a consumer home replenishment system for the Internet economy.
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NOTE: Any statements that are not historical facts contained in this release are forward-looking statements. It is possible that the assumptions made by management for purposes of such statements may not materialize. Actual results may differ materially from those projected or implied in any forward-looking statements. Such statements may involve risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to those relating to product demand, pricing, market acceptance, the effect of economic conditions, including currency fluctuations, intellectual property rights, and the outcome of competitive products, risks in product development, the results of financing effort, the ability to complete transactions, and other risks identified in this release and the Company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings.