5 Aug 2009 11:49

PepsiCo says Lebedyansky acquisition is great success

MOSCOW. Aug 5 (Interfax) - PepsiCo, the U.S. beverages and snacks group, said Russian juice maker Lebedyansky is one of its most successful acquisitions.

It is PepsiCo's biggest acquisition outside the U.S. and the company's biggest juice asset as well, PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi told Vedomosti in an interview published on Wednesday. Lebedyansky has modern production facilities that make high value-added products and are able to handle new products, she said. Lebedyansky, acquired last year, is a long-term investment for PepsiCo, she said.

PepsiCo expects serious growth in the Russian market and plans to invest $1 billion over the next three years to develop its production capacity and distribution infrastructure in Russia. The U.S. company also plans investment in modern warehousing and distribution infrastructure for Lebedyansky.

As for whether soft drink sales in the U.S. would continue to fall, Nooyi said the recession had forced many consumers to cut back on spending. Many are now quenching their thirst from the kitchen tap rather than buying bottled beverages, she said.

PepsiCo has bottling facilities in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Domodedovo, Samara, Yekaterinburg and Novosibirsk. It also has a FritoLay chips factory in Moscow region and is preparing to launch a second in Azov.