PepsiCo is Russia's biggest foods firm with Wimm-Bill-Dann deal

The Russian government commission on foreign direct investments and strategic sectors yesterday approved global food and beverages giant PepsiCo's acquisition of the country's largest dairy products and juice maker Wimm-Bill-Dann (WBD).

Last week, Igor Artemyev, head of the Russian antitrust regulator Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) had said, "We are favourably disposed to the deal. There are no problems with it." (See: Russian watchdog to approve $3.8-bn PepsiCo-WBD deal)

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin yesterday announced that PepsiCo has pledged to invest around $1 billion in WBD. With the acquisition, PepsiCo aims to become Russia's largest the food and beverages maker, and also expand into the lucrative markets of Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Earlier this month, the New York-based beverages giant announced it would buy 66 per cent of WBD for $3.8 billion and then acquire the remaining shares following completion of the acquisition, taking the total deal value to $5.4 billion. (See: PepsiCo to acquire majority stake in Russia's Wimm-Bill-Dann for $5.4-billion)

WBD, established in 1992 is Russia's largest manufacturer of dairy products, and also a leading producer of juices and beverages in Russia and the CIS nations. The company employs over 16,000 people and its annual revenue is around $2.4 billion.

The dairy firm has 38 manufacturing facilities across Russia, Ukraine, and Central Asia, an extensive direct-store-distribution network, and substantial R&D capabilities.