PepsiCo to Buy Israel’s SodaStream for $3.2 Billion

YERUSHALAYIM -
A Palestinian worker on the assembly line at SodaStream’s former plant in Mishor Adumim. (Flash 90)

High-tech isn’t the only area in which Israeli firms are being bought out for billions: International beverage monolith PepsiCo announced Monday that it would be buying Israel’s SodaStream for a toal of $3.2 billion. In the deal, PepsiCo will pay $144 per share of outstanding SodaStream stock, a 32-percent premium over its average price in recent months.

The deal is expected to be completed in 2019, after regulatory and shareholder approval. SodaStream will operate as an individual unit in PepsiCo, Maariv quoted people close to the deal as saying, so that the company’s own culture can be preserved. The sources said that PepsiCo sees SodaStream as an opportunity to enter consumers’ homes, thus giving them another venue to sell in.

SodaStream has been in the news in recent years because it is a high-profile target for BDS groups. In 2015 Sodastream, under fire for producing in Yehudah and Shomron, moved a factory located in Mishor Adumim to the Negev – with the result that 300 Palestinian workers who were employees of the factory were unemployed. The workers could not be moved to the Negev because of security concerns.

In 2017 the company began displaying a large Israeli flag on the side of the boxes of its seltzer-making apparatus – with a note saying that “this product is made by Arabs and Jews working side by side in peace and harmony.”

“PepsiCo and SodaStream are an inspired match,” said PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi. “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. Together, we can advance our shared vision of a healthier, more-sustainable planet.”

Daniel Birnbaum, SodaStream CEO and Director said, “Today marks an important milestone in the SodaStream journey. It is validation of our mission to bring healthy, convenient and environmentally friendly beverage solutions to consumers around the world. We are honored to be chosen as PepsiCo’s beachhead for at home preparation to empower consumers around the world with additional choices. I am excited our team will have access to PepsiCo’s vast capabilities and resources to take us to the next level. This is great news for our consumers, employees and retail partners worldwide.”