Soft-drink giants Seven-Up and Dr Pepper announced the completion of a billion-dollar merger on Sunday that makes Prudential-Bache Securities Inc. a major partner in the new company.

A joint statement said the new firm was called Dr Pepper/Seven-Up Companies Inc. and that the merger transaction was valued at about $1.3 billion.Senior management and shareholders of the former companies, including Shearson Lehman Hutton, Inc., Cadbury Schweppes and Citicorp Venture Capital, share 51 percent of the new company.

Prudential-Bache Interfunding, the investment banking arm of Prudential-Bache Securities Inc., will own the remaining 49 percent along with other investors who were not identified.

James Harford, president of the Seven-Up Co., submitted his resignation effective immediately, but his decision was unrelated to the merger deal. He was recently convicted in a price-fixing trial in Virginia.