• PepsiCo to buy 66% stake
  • Plots fresh offer for remaining shares
  • Set to become biggest beverage and food group in Russia 
PepsiCo to acquire 66% of Russias Wimm-Bill-Dann

PepsiCo to acquire 66% of Russia's Wimm-Bill-Dann

PepsiCo has agreed to buy 66% of Wimm-Bill-Dann for US$3.8bn and plans to acquire full ownership of the juice and dairy giant, in a move that will make PepsiCo the largest food and beverage group in Russia.

If approved by Russian authorities, the deal will significantly enhance PepsiCo's international growth profile and help the group to meet its goal of building a $30bn nutrition business by 2020. Wimm-Bill-Dann (WBD) is one of Russia's leading juice and added-value dairy companies, and has long been the focus of foreign takeover speculation.
 
PepsiCo said that, should the deal be approved as planned, then the US soft drinks giant will launch an offer to acquire all outstanding shares in the Russian company. Its offer price of $3.8bn for the initial 66% stake values WBD shares almost a third more than average trading in the last month.

Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo's CEO, said today (2 December) that the deal gives PepsiCo "clear leadership" in Russia's food and soft drinks industry.

"Adding Wimm-Bill-Dann to PepsiCo’s portfolio is financially attractive and gives us a strong, high-growth platform in the dairy category," she said. "Dairy has a huge, untapped potential to bridge snacks and beverages. We see the emerging opportunity to ‘snackify’ beverages and ‘drinkify‘ snacks as the next frontier in food and beverage convenience."

The deal will raise PepsiCo’s annual global sales from nutritious and functional foods from around $10bn to nearer $13bn. PepsiCo expects WBD to increase group-wide earnings within the first year of completing the deal. Annual synergies are expected to reach $100m by 2014.

"This represents a tremendous vote of confidence in the future of the Russian market," said WBD's chairman, Sergei Plastinin. The group has 16,000 empoyees and 38 production facilities across dairy, juice and babyfood.

In August, France's Groupe Danone sold its 18% stake in WBD for $470m in order to pursue a tie-up with Russia's Unimilk. In September, WBD reported a 14% rise in drinks sales for the six months to the end of June, to US$239.7m. Group sales rose by 17% to $1.2bn.