PepsiAmericas has agreed to acquire Central Investment Corporation (CIC), the seventh largest Pepsi bottler in the US, for a purchase price of US$340m plus an adjustment for excess working capital.

CIC has bottling operations in Southeast Florida and Central Ohio as well as full-line vending operations in both territories. Almost two-thirds of CIC's sales are generated in Florida with the remainder in Ohio.

"The new territories will complement our current operations," said Ken Keiser, president and COO of PepsiAmericas. "The Florida territory gives us access to a higher growth market and will provide additional support to our Caribbean operations. The proximity of CIC's Ohio operations to PepsiAmericas' current operations allows for increased geographic and customer alignment."
"We are enthusiastic about the acquisition of CIC and the expansion of our domestic territory," added Robert C. Pohlad, chairman and CEO of PepsiAmericas. "We continue to seek similar acquisitions or partnerships both domestically and internationally that will add value for our shareholders."
PepsiAmericas expects the transaction to be accretive to earnings in 2005.

Upon closing of the transaction, CIC will become a wholly owned subsidiary of PepsiAmericas. The proposed transaction is subject to expiration of the Hart-Scott-Rodino antitrust review and customary closing conditions. The transaction is expected to close by mid-January 2005.