The Pepsi-Coke No-Fizz Battle Hits Ukraine

Last Updated Aug 20, 2007 7:13 PM EDT

"I don't drink soda anymore" -- that's an increasingly common statement that's driving the Pepsi-Coke war over the healthier non-carbonated beverage market. This global competition recently took the form of a little-known takeover battle for Sandora, the leading Ukrainian juice-maker. And today, Pepsi won. A SeekingAlpha article reports:
PepsiCo says it has won the bidding war with Coca-Cola for Ukrainian juice-maker Sandora. Pepsi will buy 80% of the company for $542 million plus debt. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter. It provides PepsiCo with a strong platform for growth in the Ukrainian beverage market, "one of the fastest growing beverage markets in Europe," it said. It also bolsters Pepsi's international portfolio, as it seeks to overcome weak U.S. soda sales; more than half of Pepsi's Q1 profit growth was from sales of drinks and snacks outside North America.
Sure, the Ukraine isn't the sexiest market on the planet, but Pepsi's acquisition is likely to prove a smart long-term move that will give it a head start in the developing region. The Sandora acquisition comes just a few weeks after Coke bought Glaceau, maker of Vitaminwater and Smartwater brands, for $4.1 billion -- a huge move in the non-carbonated market.

(Image of 1950's PepsiCo Billboard by bear69designs, CC 2.0)