PepsiCo, Suntory to partner in Vietnam

by Eric Schroeder
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PURCHASE, N.Y. — PepsiCo, Inc. and Suntory Holdings Ltd. (Suntory), a global beverage and wellness company based in Osaka, Japan, have agreed to form an alliance that is designed to build on PepsiCo’s existing position in Vietnam and create new growth opportunities for both companies in the market.

Under the terms of the agreement, Suntory will acquire a 51% stake in PepsiCo’s Vietnam beverage business, while PepsiCo will be a 49% shareholder. Both companies are expected to hold key roles in the management team of the new joint venture, which will serve as the bottler for both companies in Vietnam.

PepsiCo will retain marketing and innovation responsibilities for its portfolio of beverage brands in Vietnam, which include Pepsi-Cola, 7-UP, Sting, Mirinda, Tropicana Twister, Lipton and Aquafina. Suntory brings to the alliance strong brands and a history of developing beverages for the Asian market.

PepsiCo and Suntory have worked together in other beverage markets, including the United States, Japan and New Zealand.

“Suntory has been actively expanding its business foundation to consolidate its position in growing South-East Asian markets,” said Henry Park, chief executive officer of Suntory Beverage & Food Asia Pte. Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Suntory Holdings Ltd. “This alliance is one of our strategic initiatives to pursue further growth in the region. Suntory is committed to the Vietnam business together with PepsiCo, our partner of more than 30 years, which has already established a leading position in Vietnam.”

Umran Beba, president of PepsiCo Asia Pacific, added, “Vietnam is a highly attractive growth market where PepsiCo is well positioned in the food and beverage marketplace. We’re focused on expanding our food and beverage business in Vietnam through continued investment across our portfolio, and our beverage alliance with Suntory is an important part of our strategy to position PepsiCo for sustainable long-term growth in the market. Suntory is a world-class company and proven PepsiCo partner, and we believe their expertise and capabilities will drive the continued success of our Vietnam beverage business.”

PepsiCo entered the Vietnam market in 1994, and now it has five beverage manufacturing plants there. The company said it will continue to independently operate its foods business in Vietnam.

Suntory Group was founded in 1899 and has become a multi-national major beverage company with a broad range of business, including wellness, food and restaurants. In 2011, Suntory’s consolidated sales were more than $23 billion. The Suntory Group has approximately 200 group companies, with 28,532 employees across Japan, the United States, Europe and Asia Pacific.
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