Pepsi remains coy on new bottler rumours

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 9th September 2008

Rumours continue to circulate that Pepsi are sounding out new bottlers for their brands in New Zealand and Australia.

The Australian Financial Review last week reported that PepsiCo was discussing their options with potential bottlers in the wake of news that both their New Zealand and Australian partners were reviewing their operations.

Frucor, a subsidiary of Danone, is Pepsi’s current New Zealand bottler and Danone recently indicated that a review of operations is underway, with takeover speculation mounting as a result. “In light of the Group’s recent refocus on purity and naturality within its Waters division, Danone is conducting a thorough review of all potential long-term strategic options for Frucor to ensure ongoing value creation for all its stakeholders,” the company said in a statement.

In Australia, meanwhile, the bottler for Pepsi, Cadbury Schweppes, outlined a review of their Australian beverage division would be completed by October. Many analysts believe the review will lead to a sale of their beverage division, although, a demerger of their confectionery and beverage operations is also a possible outcome.

Speculation suggests possible buyers of Frucor and Schweppes could include coke bottler Coca-Cola Amatil, Kirin-owned National Foods, and P&N Beverages.

The Australian Financial Review believes that the beverage giant has held preliminary discussions with a host of possible new partners including P&N, Lion Nathan, Foster’s, Japan’s Kirin Holdings, Serm Suk of Thailand and Japan’s Suntory.