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Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
PepsiCo is to sell Tropicana, Naked and other juice brands to private equity firm PAI Partners for about $3.3 billion as it seeks to bolster its balance sheet and focus on healthier snacks and zero-calorie drinks.
The U.S. drinks giant will retain a 39 percent non-controlling interest in a new holding company for the brands and also has granted PAI an irrevocable option to buy certain juice businesses in Europe, according to a statement Tuesday.
PepsiCo said it plans to use the proceeds from the deal to strengthen its balance sheet and invest in the wider business, it said.
The Purchase, N.Y.-based corporation operates the Quaker Oats facility in Cedar Rapids.
PAI is an experienced investor in the food and beverage space and is behind Refresco, the biggest independent bottler of beverages globally.
PAI’s proposed joint venture with PepsiCo is similar to one it created when it merged its R&R ice-cream business with large parts of Nestle’s ice-cream division to create Froneri.
“This joint venture with PAI enables us to realize significant upfront value, whilst providing the focus and resources necessary to drive additional long-term growth for these beloved brands,” said PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Ramon Laguarta in a statement.
“In addition, it will free us to concentrate on our current portfolio of diverse offerings, including growing our portfolio of healthier snacks, zero-calorie beverages, and products like SodaStream which are focused on being better for people and the planet,” he said.
The PepsiCo juice businesses delivered about $3 billion in net revenue in 2020 with operating profit margins that were below the company’s overall operating margin in 2020.
The transaction is expected to close in late 2021 or early 2022.