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PepsiCo to buy SodaStream for $3.2 billion

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Thursday, August 23rd, 2018

Source: CNBC

Beverage and snack giant PepsiCo announced plans Monday to acquire at-home carbonated drink maker SodaStream for $3.2 billion.

Purchase, New York-based PepsiCo agreed to pay $144 per share in cash for SodaStream’s outstanding stock, a 32 percent premium to its 30-day volume weighted average price.

The deal gives PepsiCo a new line through which it can reach customers in their homes rather than through stores. It comes as U.S. grocers are in a state of transformation, with 70 percent of shoppers expected to buy groceries online by 2025, according to Food Marketing Institute and Nielsen. Meantime, retailers are squeezing brands on price and giving increasing shelf-space to upstart and private label brands.

“We get to play in a business — home beverages — where we don’t play,” PepsiCo CFO Hugh Johnston told CNBC.

With this move, PepsiCo is doubling down on its drinks business, which has struggled in North America as consumers move away from sugary, carbonated beverages. It also seemingly addresses the challenge that buying new drink brands risks cannibalizing its legacy beverages.

Tel Aviv-based SodaStream makes a machine and refillable cylinders through which users can make their own soda or carbonated water drinks.

The acquisition is one of the boldest moves that CEO Indra Nooyihas made in her 12-year tenure as CEO. Nooyi, who earlier this month announced plans to step down, led the company’s shift away from sugary products and introduced healthier alternatives. She also spent years warding off pressure from activist investor Nelson Peltz, whose presence cast a close eye on dealmaking.

“PepsiCo is finding new ways to reach consumers beyond the bottle,” said PepsiCo President Ramon Laguarta, who will succeed Nooyi as CEO on Oct. 3.

For SodaStream, the deal is a further chance to broaden its reach through PepsiCo’s global footprint. It now distributes in 80,000 individual retail stores across 45 countries. Its biggest markets are Germany, France, Canada and the U.S.

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