PepsiCo buys Sodastream for $3.2bn

Scarlett Johansson with Sodastream’s Daniel Birnbaum

Scarlett Johansson with Sodastream’s Daniel Birnbaum

PepsiCo said on Monday it's acquiring all SodaStream's outstanding shares at $144 per share, a 32 percent premium to the 30-day volume weighted average price.

Founded in the United Kingdom in 1903, SodaStream was a coveted device in British kitchens in the 1970s and 80s, allowing customers to create fizzy drinks by adding flavoured syrups to carbonated water, but it faded in popularity as soft drinks became cheaper. The Purchase, New York-based group will use cash on hand to fund the acquisition. "PepsiCo is finding new ways to reach consumers beyond the bottle".

Other soft-drink producers have tried to tap the at-home market, though success has been elusive.

"Daniel and his leadership team have built an extraordinary company that is offering consumers the ability to make great-tasting beverages while reducing the amount of waste generated".

Nooyi is stepping down from the top job at PepsiCo later this year, but the move shows that Pepsi's CEO-elect, Ramon Laguarta, will continue focusing on healthier alternatives. The company has targeted big soda makers in ads in the past, criticizing them for making excessive waste.

In a note to investors, Bonnie Herzog, managing director of equity research for Wells Fargo Securities, said she thinks the move can help accelerate PepsiCo's "ongoing strategic shift towards adding healthier options across its product mix and.complement the company's growing water portfolio - including its recently launched bottled sparkling water brand Bubly".

SodaStream has been the focus of controversy in the Middle East. Protesters claimed victory when the company closed a factory in the West Bank in 2014, which the opponents said was part of Israel's illegal occupation of the territory.

The transaction values SodaStream at 36 times trailing 12-month operating profit, compared with a median of 21 times for comparable deals, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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