May 18, 2009 / 12:39 PM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 1-PepsiAmericas in JV with Central America Beverage Corp

* Financial terms of the deal not disclosed

* CABCORP to have 82 pct ownership

* JV won’t affect PepsiAmericas’ ‘09 adj EPS view materially

May 18 (Reuters) - PepsiAmericas Inc PAS.N said it would combine most of its Caribbean business with Central America Beverage Corp’s (CABCORP) Central American ones as part of a joint venture between the two companies.

CABCORP, which had sales of $480 million last year, will control 82 percent ownership interest, while PepsiAmericas will control the remaining 18 percent as part of the deal.

The JV will combine PepsiAmericas’ Caribbean business, excluding the Bahamas, with CABCORP’s Central American operations, including Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua.

“In addition to leveraging scale and expertise, we believe the formation of this joint venture will allow us to participate in the higher growth Latin American markets where CABCORP currently operates,” PepsiAmericas’ CEO Robert Pohlad said in a statement.

The deal, expected to likely close in the third quarter, will not materially impact its 2009 forecast for adjusted earnings, PepsiAmericas said.

The joint venture comes after the second largest Pepsi bottler snubbed an unsolicited buyout offer from PepsiCo Inc PEP.N, saying the deal was undervalued, while at least one analyst thinks PepsiCo might cap the deal with Pepsi Bottling, leaving out PepsiAmericas altogether.

Last month, PepsiCo offered $6 billion to buy the remaining stakes in its two largest bottlers, Pepsi Bottling Group PBG.N and PepsiAmericas, to cut costs and get more control of its distribution system. It owns about 33 percent of Pepsi Bottling and 43 percent of PepsiAmericas.

PepsiAmericas shares closed at $25.44 Friday on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Nivedita Bhattacharjee in Bangalore; Editing by Deepak Kannan)

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