PepsiAmericas invests in Romanian bottling operation

by Staff
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MINNEAPOLIS — PepsiAmericas, Inc. has acquired 49% of the outstanding common stock of Quadrant-Amroq Bottling Company Limited, PepsiAmericas officials said Thursday. Q.A.B.C.L. is a holding company that, through subsidiaries, produces, sells and distributes Pepsi and other beverages throughout Romania.

"We are enthusiastic about our investment in Q.A.B.C.L. and the expansion of our international territory," said Ken Keiser, president and chief operating officer of PepsiAmericas. "Romania's improving economic condition, matched with a developing beverage market, provides a great platform for us to leverage our position in this key region."

Romania has a population of 22 million and is scheduled to join the European Union in 2007.

"Q.A.B.C.L. and its balanced product portfolio occupies a significant market share position in Romania and has enjoyed double digit volume and profit growth in recent years," Mr. Keiser said. "We intend to work with their experienced and successful team to continue these results."

Discussing the company's investment strategy in Central Europe, Robert C. Pohlad, chairman and chief executive officer of PepsiAmericas said, "For the last four years, we have demonstrated a commitment to improving sales and distribution of Pepsi products in Central Europe while also looking for acquisitions or partnerships that expand our portfolio and our geographic presence.
"This investment fits well with these strategic criteria and is accretive to our earnings. In addition, it provides PepsiAmericas with the opportunity to expand further our beverage and snack presence in the Balkan region."

A subsidiary of PepsiAmericas paid $51 million for this investment. It, along with the other Q.A.B.C.L. shareholders, are subject to certain put/call provisions.

PepsiAmericas is the world's second-largest manufacturer, seller and distributor of Pepsi-Cola beverages with operations in 19 U.S. states, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, the Republic of Slovakia and the Caribbean, including Puerto Rico, Jamaica, the Bahamas, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago.

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