Swire Pacific yesterday reached an out of court settlement with a United States soft drink company in which the two parties agreed to cease simultaneous legal proceedings taken against each other. Although the details of the settlement remain confidential, all actions between Swire and Dr Pepper/Seven Up will end and no value will be paid in connection with the end of the litigation. Swire and Dr Pepper/Seven Up had been in a two-year battle over Swire's right to sell franchises to distribute Seven Up to third parties. Swire Coca-Cola, USA - a division of Swire Pacific - had acquired the Seven Up franchises as part of its expansion in the US, but later chose to concentrate on distributing a competing brand, Sprite. Dr Pepper/Seven Up contested Swire's right to sell the franchises, saying it should retain the absolute right to decide what companies should distribute its products. Swire launched a court case against Dr Pepper/Seven Up in Idaho, while Dr Pepper/Seven Up responded by launching a court case against Swire in Texas. Swire claimed it could sell the Seven Up franchises for US$2.6 million. A source close to the deal said the costs of the looming court cases convinced the two sides not to pursue the matter. Executives at Dr Pepper/Seven Up yesterday treated the settlement as a victory.