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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 June 2007, 20:52 GMT 21:52 UK
Pepsi buys Ukrainian drinks firm
Pepsi van and delivery man
Drinks firms are having to adapt their businesses as tastes change
Pepsico, the world's second largest drinks firm, has expanded into Ukraine, hoping to tap into one of the fastest growing drinks markets in Europe.

The company said it bought 80% of Ukrainian drinks firm Sandora for $542m (274m) and would take on its debts.

Pepsico says Sandora controls about 50% of the Ukrainian market, which has about 46 million consumers.

Drinks firms, including brewers, are counting on emerging nations for growth as developed markets become saturated.

Pepsico has also had to focus on healthier options, such as water and orange juice, as consumer tastes have changed.

Earlier this year, Pepsico said that its annual 2006 profits jumped 38% on strong growth in Turkey, Russia and Egypt.

Own brands

Sandora is a maker of fruit and vegetable juices, and its brands include an own-named premium drink, as well as lower priced brands such as Dar and Sadochok.

The company has about 3,500 workers and two plants in Nikolaev, a city about 380 miles south of the capital Kiev.

It also sells drinks in Belarus, Azerbaijan and Moldova.

Pepsico is buying Sandora in partnership with bottling firm PepsiAmerica, and will purchase the remaining 20% of Sandora by November.

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