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Frucot Beverages A Good Fit For Pepsi Brands

Frucor Beverages, owned by a consortium of investors headed by New Zealand investment bankers Fyers Wickham and Australian investment firm Pacific Equity Partners, will acquire certain assets of Pepsi-Cola Bottlers New Zealand and will hold the exclusive franchise in the local market from Pepsi Cola International.

Frucor Beverages' director and Fyers Wickham principal Richard Fyers said today the company has bought all Pepsi-Cola Bottlers NZ point of sale equipment including chillers, post-mix and vending machines, some plant and machinery and warehouse equipment.

Frucor Beverages has also acquired the H2GO water business from Lion Nathan. H2GO is a leading brand and its acquisition will make Frucor the market leader in supermarkets which is a strongly growing sector.

"The acquisitions will further add to Frucor Beverages' strongly growing business and give the company an annual turnover approaching $200 million," said Mr Fyers.

Frucor Beverages chief executive officer Mark Cowsill says his company is the natural home for Pepsi and H2GO.

"Our well established and extensive sales and distribution systems, our marketing expertise and our excellent track record in the total cold beverages' market will ensure the success of all our complementary brands," he says.

"The two acquisitions will significantly increase the customer base of both businesses and Frucor Beverages will be working towards further growing the total cold beverage market as well as the carbonated drinks' category. We will be able to leverage our strong brand management capabilities and better customer service to add value to both categories."

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The acquisition of Pepsi-Cola Bottlers NZ assets is expected to be completed by early November and Frucor Beverages is now evaluating the future profile of the combined businesses and will work closely with Pepsi-Cola International to develop future plans.

"Until that process is complete it is very much business as usual and we will ensure we continue to provide an excellent service to our existing and new customers," says Mr Cowsill.

Frucor Beverages was sold by the New Zealand Apple and Pear Marketing Board 12 months ago to a consortium of investors headed by Fyers Wickham and Australia's Pacific Equity Partners.

Since then the company, a major player in the cold beverage market in New Zealand with leading brands including Just Juice, NZ Natural, Fresh-Up, McCoy, Stefan's and the highly successful `V', has achieved remarkable growth in New Zealand and expanded into Australia.


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