RUSSIA: Pepsi to buy Lebedyansky's juice firm
The companies said today (20 March) that they have paid US$1.4bn for a stake of over 75% in the Russian juice company, excluding the company's baby food and mineral water business. The investment is led by a plan for "continued expansion of the Russian juice category," said PBG president and CEO Eric Foss.
Lebedyansky, which is the sixth-largest juice manufacturer in the world and the largest in Russia, saw annual revenues last year of around $800m from its juice business, the companies said.
PepsiCo International CEO and vice chairman of PepsiCo Michael White said: "Combining Lebedyansky's strengths with those of PepsiCo, one of the world's largest makers and sellers of branded juice, and The Pepsi Bottling Group, our largest bottler, will create vast opportunities. We are committed to investing in Lebedyansky's brands and building an even brighter future for this great Russian company."
Lebedyansky Chairman Yuri Bortsov, who has agreed to sell his shares to PepsiCo/PBG, added: "We are pleased to have reached this agreement with PepsiCo and PBG, outstanding companies that bring a long heritage of investing in Russia and a clear commitment to the growth and success of Lebedyansky. They will bring significant investment and distribution strength and ensure that this company remains a strong, vibrant competitor."
The deal involves PepsiCo and PBG acquiring 75.53% of Lebedyansky held by its four largest individual shareholders. "That purchase will be split 75%/25% by PepsiCo and PBG," the companies added.
"The acquisition is subject to normal regulatory approvals and the spin-off to Lebedyansky's existing shareholders of the company's baby food and mineral water business. The spin-off is subject to agreement by the majority of Lebedyansky shareholders not party to the transaction. The spin-off and the acquisition of the 75.53% of Lebedyansky are not expected to be completed before the third quarter," added the soft drinks firms.
Russian law requires that PepsiCo and PBG will make a mandatory offer to buy the shares held by all remaining shareholders in Lebedyansky shortly after the transaction closes.
The Pepsi Bottling Group and PepsiCo recently signed a deal, through their Russian joint venture PR Beverages, to also acquire Sobol-Aqua in Russia.
The companies said this week that PR Beverages will take control of Sobol's entire enterprise, including a Russia-based production facility which already co-packs various Pepsi products and manufactures its own brands.
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