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20 Mar, 2008 17:56

Pepsi swallows Russian juice giant

Pepsi is making one of the largest-ever foreign investments in Russia's food and beverage sector. The soft drinks giant is acquiring a 75.5% stake in leading juice-maker Lebedyansky, for $US 1.4 billion.

Lebedyansky is selling only its juice business which includes the brands “Ya”, “Fruktoviy Sad” and “Tonus”.

The deal is scheduled to go ahead in the third quarter, after the Russian firm has spun off its mineral water and baby food businesses into a separate company.

Pepsico is buying out Lebedyansky's four main shareholders and, in accordance with Russian law, will then make an offer to the minority shareholders as well.

Pepsi insists that the deal is a partnership and doesn't plan to rebrand or restructure the Russian company.