Russia's Federal Antimonopoly Service said today that it approved an applicationtosell PepsiCo’s Russian subidiary Wimm-Bill-Dann Beverages (WBD) to Multipro, a Russian cheesemaker that specializes in Mozzarella for pizzas and cheeses such as Brie and Camembert.
PepsiCo’s subsidiary which was named after after the Wimbledon tennis tournament produces yogurt, milk, flavored milk, fruit juices, and other soft drinks. It holds a 34% share in all dairy products in Russia, and a 20% share of the fruit drink market.
WBD is the legal entity that owns the enterprise in Ramenskoye that closed in 2015, according to a statement by PepsiCo.The site includes administrative buildings, as well as storage, production and infrastructure sites, all of which will be taken over by the new owner, Reuters cited the PepsiCo. Details about the deal including the purchase price were not reported.
WBD was bought by PepsiCo in a multi-stage acquisition starting in December 2010 and closed in September 2011. The purchase was valued at USD 5.8 billion which meant one of the biggest foreign investments seen in Russia outside the energy industry.
According to PepsiCo, the decision to sell WBD was already taken last year, before Russia’s invasion to Ukraine.The Russian company had a net loss of RUB 64.6 million (USD 986,000) last year.
Shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, PepsiCo announced that it was suspending sales of soft drinks under global brands in Russia, as well as investments and marketing activities. However, sales of dairy products, baby formula and baby food should continue.
Last year, PepsiCo announced it would sell some of its juice brands, including Tropicana and Naked, to PAI Partners, a private equity firm based in Paris, France. The company said at the time it would focus on faster-growing beverages and reduce its reliance on sugary beverages. (inside.beer, 3.8.2021)