Author`s name Alex Naumov

Pepsi to buy Ukrainian juice company

PepsiAmericas Inc. and PepsiCo Inc. said they agreed to jointly acquire 80 percent of Ukrainian juice company Sandora LLC for a total of $542 million plus assumed debt to increase their presence in the East European country.

The acquisition would be through a new joint venture in which PepsiAmericas, which bottles Pepsi drinks, would hold a 60 percent interest, the companies said in a joint statement.

The joint venture would initially acquire 80 percent of Sandora and the remaining in November. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2007.

PepsiAmericas expects the acquisition to dilute its 2007 earnings by 2 cents to 3 cents per share and add 1 cent per share to 2008 profit, Reuters reports.

The transaction will have no impact on PepsiCo's previoulsy announced earnings per share outlook for 2007, the statement said.

Sandora has sales, distribution and two production facilities located in Nikolaev. The company employs 3,500 workers.

Robert C. Pohlad, chairman and CEO of PepsiAmericas, said, "We have a clear strategy to grow through the expansion of our international business, and Sandora is a great fit. It provides immediate scale in a high-growth market and a strong business platform to leverage and expand into other categories. Ukraine's emerging economy and beverage market, coupled with Sandora's strong brands and distribution capabilities, provide significant growth potential."

PepsiAmericas said it expects the transaction to dilute 2007 earnings by 2 to 3 cents per share in 2007, but the company maintains its full-year adjusted earnings per share outlook of $1.35 to $1.40.

PepsiAmericas expects the transaction to add 1 cent to earnings per share in 2008. PepsiCo added that the transaction won't have any impact on its previously announced earnings per share guidance for 2007.

PepsiAmericas is a seller and distributor of PepsiCo beverages with operations in 19 states, Central Europe and the Caribbean, the AP reports.

Source: agencies

Prepared by Alexander Timoshik

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