The soft drinks producer, Pepsi Bottling Group Inc. (PBG), has announced that it has completed its acquisition of the Mexican soft drinks bottler, Pepsi-Gemex, the principal bottler of Pepsi brands in Mexico. But PBG saw its share value slip after it said earnings would be hit by higher pension expenses next year.

PBG said that 99.8% of the outstanding shares in Pepsi-Gemex had been tendered and accepted for purchase. The deal values Pepsi-Gemex at $1.18 billion

Pepsi Bottling said it was forecasting earnings growth of 15% to 20% for the 2003 fiscal year including profit of 10 cents to 13 cents per share from Pepsi-Gemex and an increase in pension expense of about 6 cents per share. Shares in the company fell by 4% on the NYSE after the announcement.

The group also announced the appointment of Jaime Costa Lavin as chief executive of its new Mexican operation which will trade as PBG Mexico. Costa, 49, is currently the Mexican and Latin American president for Gruma SA de CV.