Money Matters - Simplified

PepsiCo to buy Russian dairy giant

Moscow -- U.S. soft drink giant PepsiCo said Thursday it would buy 66 percent of Russia's Wimm-Bill-Dann Dairy and Juice Co. for $3.8 billion.

The deal, which is dependent on government approval, includes an offer from the U.S. firm to buy the remaining Wimm-Bill-Dann shares "on terms that are mandated by Russian law," PepsiCo said in a statement.

The $3.8 billion deal implies Wimm-Bill-Dann's value is $5.4 billion, PepsiCo said.

To purchase the outstanding 34 percent brings the deal to a $5.8 billion package, RIA Novosti reported.

"We have signed an agreement which binds us to sell shares for $132 per share, or $5.8 billion total, if PepsiCo gets approval from relevant bodies," Wimm-Bill-Dann co-owner and board member David Yakobashvili said.

PepsiCo said the offer is a 32 percent premium above Wimm-Bill-Dann's 30-day average share price.

With the purchase, the soft drink maker would add 31,000 to its workforce and acquire 49 production facilities in Russia "in an already booming marketplace," PepsiCo said.

PepsiCo brands already earn $5 billion a year in revenue in Russia, the company said.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

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