Wallst.net reports : PepsiCo Inc., the world's number two soft drinks maker, is in talks to buy Russia's top juice maker Lebedyansky, which is being auctioned, people familiar with the matter said on Monday. Russian business daily Kommersant said PepsiCo had agreed to buy over 76 percent of Lebedyansky for $1.5-$2 billion. The sources would not confirm terms.
PepsiCo, like rival Coca-Cola Co., is focusing on emerging markets to help offset weakness at home, where people are choosing healthier drinks like bottled waters and teas over traditional soft drinks. PepsiCo controls around a fifth of the Russian soft drinks market and around a third of potato chip sales, but currently controls just 2 percent of the Russian juice market through the Tropicana brand. CocaCola controls over a fifth of the Russian juice sector after the $530 million purchase of producer Multon in 2005.
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