PepsiAmericas and PepsiCo are set to acquire 80% of Ukrainian juice company Sandora.

The companies said yesterday (7 June), that the US$542m acquisition will provide them with "a strong platform for growth" in the emerging Ukrainian market. PepsiAmericas will hold a 60% stake and manage the day-to-day operations of the business, while PepsiCo will acquire 20% interest and will oversee the brand development. The joint venture said it expects to acquire the remaining 20% interest in Sandora in November.

The transaction will be subject to regulatory approvals, but is expected to close in the third quarter of 2007.

PepsiAmericas chairman and chief executive officer Robert Pohlad said: "We're excited to extend our strong partnership with PepsiCo to create a new model for beverage growth in Ukraine. We have a clear strategy to grow through the expansion of our international business and Sandora is a great fit. It provides immediate scale in a high growth market and a strong business platform to leverage and expand into other categories. Ukraine's
emerging economy and beverage market, coupled with Sandora's strong brands
and distribution capabilities, provide significant growth potential."

Initial private equity bidders included Advent International, Mid Europa Partners and Lebedyansky. Local reports yesterday suggested that PepsiCo was duking it out with The Coca-Cola Co. for the stake in Sandora.