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Press Statement - Pepsi Cola

Pepsi Cola International (PCI) today signed an exclusive deal with Frucor Beverages for the New Zealand franchise bottling rights for its brands.

The Lion Nathan and PCI joint venture, Pepsi-Cola Bottlers New Zealand (PCBNZ), has for seven years held the New Zealand bottling rights for Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Pepsi Max, 7UP, Mountain Dew and Mirinda.

Lion Nathan has negotiated the sale of certain assets of PCBNZ in which PCI has a minority stake.

Once the above sale is completed, Frucor Beverages will take over the licences for the PCI brands and certain PCBNZ operating assets.

Pepsi Cola Australasia Franchise vice president Chris O'Donohue said: "New Zealand sales of the Pepsi Cola brands have grown significantly during the seven year long relationship between PCI and Lion Nathan, and we thank them for being a supportive and committed partner over the years.

"Pepsi Cola International embraces the asset sale to Frucor, a dynamic and capable company that will be a strong local partner in what is a very important and thriving market.

"The appointment of Frucor Beverages as a franchisee will facilitate the emergence of an efficient, integrated New Zealand operation of a scale that will raise the level of competition across all channels of distribution.

"The combined strength of the complementary Pepsi Cola and Frucor brands, backed by the support of the PCI system, will bring benefits to consumers and the retail trade.

"Pepsi Cola International is committed to working with Frucor Beverages to maintain supply of its popular trademarks like Pepsi, Mountain Dew and 7UP and to further build points of difference and add value in the competitive soft drink market.

"PCI and our new partner Frucor are also committed to the continued productive relationship with Restaurant Brands New Zealand (KFC and Pizza Hut) via our long term supply agreement currently in place."

The sale of the bottling franchise relates only to the New Zealand market. The Australian joint venture between PCI and Lion Nathan is unaffected and remains in place.

ENDS....

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