Pepsi to Acquire 66% of Wimm-Bill-Dann Dairy and Juice Company for $3.8 Billion

By on Dec 2, 2010 in Business, Current Events, Russia, World Comments
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PepsiCo Inc. has announced today, December 2, 2010, through a press release on its website, that it is buying a 66% majority stake of Russian dairy products and fruit-juice maker OAO Wimm-Bill-Dann. The purchase marked one of the biggest foreign investments in Russia with the exlusion of the energy sector. The PepsiCo‘s acquisition of Wimm-Bill-Dann will be the largest ever made by the company outside the US. The move will make PepsiCo the largest food-and-beverage company  and a dairy market leader in the Russia.

The Wimm-Bill-Dann deal is significantly higher than the previous a $1.4 billion acquisition of juice maker Lebedyansky in 2008.

Here is part of Pepsico‘s Press Release on its acquisition of Wimm-Bill-Dann:

PURCHASE, N.Y. and MOSCOW, Dec. 2, 2010 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP), one of the world’s largest food-and- beverage companies, and Wimm-Bill-Dann Foods OJSC (NYSE: WBD), Russia’s leading branded food-and-beverage company, today announced that PepsiCo has agreed to acquire 66% of Wimm-Bill-Dann for $3.8 billion, pending the required government approvals.  In connection with this acquisition, PepsiCo will offer to acquire the remaining shares of Wimm-Bill-Dann through an offer following completion of that acquisition at such time and on terms as are mandated by Russian law, and PepsiCo may acquire additional shares in other transactions.

Wimm-Bill-Dann is a leader in both traditional and value-added dairy products, with a solid position in juice.  The transaction will establish PepsiCo as the largest food-and-beverage business in Russia, make it a leader in the country’s fast-growing dairy category and build its presence in key markets in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.  It also will raise PepsiCo’s annual global revenues from nutritious and functional foods from approximately $10 billion today to nearly $13 billion.  This moves the company closer to its strategic goal of building a $30 billion nutrition business by 2020.

“Adding Wimm-Bill-Dann to PepsiCo’s portfolio is financially attractive and gives us a strong, high-growth platform in the dairy category,” said Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo chairman and chief executive officer. “It also gives us clear leadership in the food-and-beverage industry in Russia, a fast-growing, strategically important market offering abundant opportunity.  At the same time, Wimm-Bill-Dann’s strong, value-added dairy business immediately advances our global nutrition strategy to provide consumers around the world nutritious foods and beverages that are accessible, affordable and advantaged by science.  Dairy has a huge, untapped potential to bridge snacks and beverages.  We see the emerging opportunity to ‘snackify’ beverages and ‘drinkify’ snacks as the next frontier in food and beverage convenience.”

“Wimm-Bill-Dann is a terrific business with significant opportunities,” said Zein Abdalla, chief executive officer of PepsiCo Europe.  “Wimm-Bill-Dann’s management team has built an outstanding portfolio of market-leading dairy and juice brands that are loved by consumers across Russia. The combination of Wimm-Bill-Dann and PepsiCo Russia will create a powerhouse business in terms of scale, brand portfolio and system capabilities with the potential to be leveraged across the broader East European and Central Asian region.”

Sergei Plastinin, chairman of the Wimm-Bill-Dann board of directors and one of the shareholders who agreed to sell shares to PepsiCo, said:  “The agreement reached with PepsiCo is a historic one for both our company and our country.  Wimm-Bill-Dann was founded just 18 years ago with a handful of employees, who were all based in one room, which saw the birth of our company name, our logo and our first juice brand, J7. Today we have over 16,000 people and 38 production facilities.  In this time, Wimm-Bill-Dann has created great juice, dairy and toddler and baby food brands that are among the best loved and recognized in Russia and neighboring countries. Today we announced the planned coming together of our company with one of the most successful and best-known global companies. This represents a tremendous vote of confidence in the future of the Russian market. Integration into PepsiCo also provides our employees with access to a world-class corporate culture and almost unlimited career potential in one of the largest companies in the world.”

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