Vol. 5 Num 1141 Tue. August 14, 2007  

PepsiCo to buy top Russian juice maker

US snack and beverage giant PepsiCo plans to buy 76 percent of Russia's largest juice maker, Lebedyansky, and is ready to pay up to two billion dollars, business daily Kommersant reported Monday.

PepsiCo is in final negotiations over the purchase, which will be the largest ever in the global juice industry, Kommersant cited industry and investment bank sources as saying.

"They have virtually agreed. The deal should be announced in September or October," the paper quoted a source close to the talks as saying.

Lebedyansky is majority owned by Russian parliamentarian Nikolai Bortsov and his son Yury, and has a market capitalisation of nearly two billion dollars (1.46 billion euros).

Lebedyansky spokesman Alexander Kostivkov told AFP: "We cannot comment on market rumours," while PepsiCo could not immediately be reached for comment.