Russian juice producer Lebedyanksy may borrow up to RUB10bn (US$364m) from its main stakeholder PepsiCo in a bid to help it finance current operations.

PepsiCo confirmed the possibility of a loan to just-drinks today (24 November), and said that it would loan the money "at an interest rate equal to or lower than what first-class banks may offer".

PepsiCo and its main bottling arm, The Pepsi Bottling Group acquired 75% of Lebedyansky for US$1.4bn in August. Since then, the company has made a further bid to acquire the remaining 25% of the leading Russian juice firm in September. It is thought the price per share may be similar to the RUB2,165 paid in the previous deal.

Lebedyansky is the largest branded producer in Russia's growing juice market, with an estimated 30% market share and annual revenue in 2007 of around US$800m, according to PepsiCo.

However, the company had a total debt of over RUB6bn in the third quarter of 2008.

Lebedyansky's juice volumes fell 1% during the first three months of this year. Revenue in juice rose 11% to US$202.8m, however. Group net income plunged into the red for the quarter, recording a loss of US$5.4m, compared to profit of US$24m in the same period in 2007.