Pepsi MidAmerica, based in Marion, Ill, announced yesterday the company's plans to expand the firm's soft drink territory. The company is acquiring the exclusive manufacturing, sales and distribution rights for Dr Pepper Brand products for Southeast Missouri and Northeast Arkansas.

Pepsi MidAmerica will acquire the rights from the Dr Pepper Bottling Co. of Paragould, Ark, which has owned the Dr Pepper franchise in the area since 1929.

"This is a tremendous addition to our business," vice president and corporate treasurer Lee Crisp said. "The Dr Pepper brands are outstanding products and we are delighted to be purchasing this new territory."