US: PepsiCo seals deal to buy bottlers
The three have signed a deal after PepsiCo raised its offer to US$36.5 and $28.5 per share for Pepsi Bottling Group (PBG) and PepsiAmericas respectively, PepsiCo said today (4 August).
PepsiCo will pay for the deal half in cash and half in stock, with shareholders in the bottlers set to have the option of securing payment in cash or by receiving shares in the soft drinks giant.
PepsiAmericas and PBG have been engaged in a game of cat and mouse with PepsiCo for more than two months, since they rejected a combined $6bn bid from the soft drinks giant as "grossly inadequate".
PepsiCo, which already owns 33% of PBG and 43% of PepsiAmericas, originally offered to buy all outstanding shares in the groups at $29.5 and $23 per share respectively.
PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi said today (4 August): "The fully integrated beverage business will enable us to bring innovative products and packages to market faster, streamline our manufacturing and distribution systems and react more quickly to changes in the marketplace, much like we do with our food business."
PBG chairman and CEO Eric Foss said: "This transaction provides outstanding value for PBG shareholders, offers new and expanded opportunities for PBG employees and positions the combined company to accelerate growth going forward."
The deal is expected to create annual pre-tax synergies of $300m by 2012, largely due to greater cost efficiency and also improved revenue opportunities, PepsiCo said today.
News of the deal comes a week after PepsiAmericas CEO Robert Pohlad said that the bottler "believes it is time to bring any discussions to a conclusion".
Several analysts said that PepsiCo was likely to raise its bid. Analyst group Stifel Nicolaus said in a note last week that it still considered a deal "most likely".
An update, following a conference call by the companies, appears here.
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