* EU clears Pepsi Bottling, PepsiAmericas buys
* PepsiCo to pay &7.8 bln for the two deals
* PepsiCo says takeovers will help cut costs, boosts profits
(Adds details of PepsiCo's two acquisitions, background)
BRUSSELS, Oct 27 U.S. soft drinks maker PepsiCo
Inc (PEP.N) won European Union regulatory approval on Tuesday to
buy bottlers Pepsi Bottling Group Inc PBG.N and PepsiAmericas
Inc PAS.N, deals that will help it cut costs and boost
PepsiCo, the second-largest soft drink maker in North
America, announced the $7.8 billion deal in early August after
running the bottlers as separate companies for the last 10
The European Commission, the European Union's executive arm,
cleared both deals, saying they would not impede competition in
Europe though overlaps existed in the firms' businesses.
"As PAS (PepsiAmericas) was already bottling, selling and
distributing PepsiCo beverages, it is unlikely that the
transaction would lead to a significant change in the market
structure," the EU competition watchdog said in a statement.
"The proposed transaction would not significantly change the
market structure. Consequently, the Commission concluded that
the transaction would not raise competition concerns," the
Commission said regarding the Pepsi Bottling Group deal.
PepsiCo, whose drink brands include Mountain Dew, Tropicana
and Gatorade, spun off the bottlers in 1999, following a similar
move from top rival Coca-Cola Co (KO.N).
It is buying them back because the current model makes it
difficult to achieve sustainable long-term profit growth since
there is not enough profit in total to support investment in
separate companies, PepsiCo has said.
Pepsi said at the time of the deal that it would pay $36.50
per share for Pepsi Bottling and $28.50 per share for
PepsiAmericas, representing premiums of about 45 percent and 43
percent from the bottlers'.
(Reporting by Bate Felix, editing by Dale Hudson)