PepsiCo Inc. (PEP) has announced it will buy home seltzer machine manufacturer SodaStream International Ltd. (SODA) for $3.2 billion.
The Purchase, New York-based company will pay $144 per share in cash for the firm that promises to help customers reduce their carbon footprints. The offer represents an 11% premium to the Friday closing price of SodaStream’s U.S.-listed stock and is 32% higher than the company’s 30-day volume weighted average price.
Pepsi’s move to buy the Israeli maker of machines that turn tap water into carbonated water forms part of its strategy to shift away from sugary products in favor of healthier alternatives. SodaStream's flavors do not contain high-fructose corn syrup or aspartame, and one can swap the company's syrups for homemade ones or fresh juices.
The deal also presents Pepsi, which is currently in the process of changing its CEO, with a greater platform to reach customers in their homes, rather than in stores where retailers charge high fees for shelf space. Seventy percent of shoppers are expected to buy groceries online by 2025, CNBC reported, citing data from the Food Marketing Institute and Nielsen.
"SodaStream is highly complementary and incremental to our business, adding to our growing water portfolio, while catalyzing our ability to offer personalized in-home beverage solutions around the world," Pepsi’s incoming CEO Ramon Laguarta said in a statement. “PepsiCo is finding new ways to reach consumers beyond the bottle."
"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. That focus is well-aligned with Performance with Purpose, our philosophy of making more nutritious products while limiting our environmental footprint," said PepsiCo Chair and CEO Indra Nooyi.
New Boss, Same Strategy
The acquisition of SodaStream hints that Laguarta is keen to follow the strategy championed by his predecessor. Earlier this month, Nooyi announced plans to step down from her role as CEO. During her 12-year tenure, she focused on building a healthier product range, introducing flavored sparkling water brand Bubly and fruit and vegetable snacks maker Bare Foods. (See also: Top 5 Shareholders of PepsiCo.)
Laguarta is due to officially replace Nooyi Oct. 3. The acquisition is expected to be completed by January 2019, provided that it gains regulatory clearance and the support of SodaStream shareholders.
SodaStream’s shares have gained nearly 85% since the beginning of the year, thanks to better than expected results. Earlier this month, the Lod, Israel-based company reported quarterly earnings that comfortably surpassed analyst estimates. SodaStream tripled its earnings forecast for the year after sales of its machines rose 22% in the quarter to more than 1 million. (See also: PepsiCo Stock Breaks Out From Key Resistance.)