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Coca-Cola to fuel Core Power with dairy company stake

(Reuters) - Coca-Cola Co is taking an equity stake in the maker of the Core Power protein drink, the world's largest soft drink company said on Tuesday, as it increases its bet on milk-based beverages.

Coca-Cola said it and Select Milk Producers Inc, a cooperative of dairy farmers, were taking equal stakes in the Core Power maker, which will now be known as Fair Oaks Farms Brands LLC.

Coca-Cola spokeswoman Kerry Tressler would not say how big the stakes are, but said the investment could increase over time.

The company said it wanted to create "an innovative portfolio of brands and products that feature the value-added nutrition of dairy."

Coke started distributing Core Power in select markets earlier this year. Made from milk, Core Power is marketed as a high-protein muscle recovery drink meant to be consumed after a workout.

Coke shares were unchanged at $37.38 on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Martinne Geller in New York; Editing by John Wallace and Lisa Von Ahn)