PepsiCo denies in talks to buy SodaStream

TEL AVIV Thu Jun 6, 2013 2:41pm EDT

Workers unload a truck of Pepsi products in New York's Hell's Kitchen neighborhood, October 8, 2009. REUTERS/Chip East

Workers unload a truck of Pepsi products in New York's Hell's Kitchen neighborhood, October 8, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Chip East

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TEL AVIV (Reuters) - PepsiCo Inc (PEP.N) denied a published report that it was in talks to buy Israel's SodaStream International Ltd (SODA.O), whose machines make carbonated drinks from tap water.

The Calcalist, an Israeli financial newspaper, reported that PepsiCo has made an offer through Goldman Sachs (GS.N) to buy SodaStream for $2 billion.

A PepsiCo spokesman told Reuters on Thursday that "the rumor is untrue" and reiterated the company's position that it sees no need for large acquisitions.

SodaStream's shares were up 7.7 percent in premarket trading after closing at $69.35 on Wednesday.

Calcalist reported estimates that PepsiCo was willing to go higher than $2 billion and might agree to pay as much as $95 per share.

SodaStream, which also makes flavors, carbon dioxide refills and re-usable bottles, was listed on Nasdaq in 2010 and has a market valuation of $1.4 billion.

Officials at SodaStream were not immediately available for comment.

Calcalist said PepsiCo was interested in SodaStream's potential to expand in the United States after its U.S. sales doubled in 2012.

Calcalist said SodaStream was checking its options for a deal with Coca Cola Co (KO.N) before moving into advanced negotiations with PepsiCo.

Global sales at SodaStream, which sells at upscale department stores such as Harrods as well as at budget chains like U.S. group Target Corp (TGT.N), have risen more than three-fold since 2009. The group booked sales of over $436 million last year, with net profit up 18 percent to $44 million.

(Reporting by Tova Cohen, additional reporting by Martinne Geller and Phil Wahba in New York; editing by John Wallace)

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