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Starbucks, Unilever Sign Ice Cream Deal

Coffee shop operator signed an exclusive licensing agreement with Unilever to make and distribute Starbucks ice cream in the U.S. and Canada.

NEW YORK (AP) -- Coffee shop operator Starbucks Coffee Co. said Monday it signed an exclusive licensing agreement with Dutch food and personal care products maker Unilever NV to make and distribute Starbucks ice cream in the U.S. and Canada.

Financial terms were undisclosed. Unilever's ice cream brands include Ben & Jerry's, Breyers, Good Humor, Klondike and Popsicle.

Starbucks ice cream was first introduced in 1996. The company plans to position the ice cream as "super-premium" with classic coffeehouse flavors.

The deal expands an existing relationship for making, marketing and distributing Starbucks Tazo ready-to-drink drinks, announced last month. Starbucks and the Pepsi/Lipton Tea Partnership, a joint venture between Unilever and PepsiCo, signed a licensing agreement to manage the product line.

Starbucks shares fell 7 cents to $15.26 during afternoon trading.

Unilever NV shares fell 35 cents to $29.20.

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