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California and the West

PepsiCo to buy Naked Juice

November 22, 2006|From Bloomberg News

PepsiCo Inc. agreed to buy Naked Juice Co. of Azusa to expand sales of natural-juice drinks and compete with Coca-Cola Co.'s Odwalla brand.

Naked Juice makes 25 fortified drinks, including a pineapple-banana protein shake. The company has annual sales of more than $150 million, the companies said Tuesday. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

PepsiCo acquired more healthful beverage and food companies including Stacy's Pita Chips in the last year to lure consumers shunning sugary sodas. Chief Executive Indra Nooyi is adding Naked Juice to try to win drinkers from Odwalla juices, which Coca-Cola bought in 2001.

John Faucher, an analyst with JP Morgan Securities Inc., estimates PepsiCo will pay about $450 million to buy Naked Juice from North Castle Partners, a private-equity firm based in Greenwich, Conn. He is assuming a price of three times Naked Juice's annual revenue.

Shares of Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo rose 6 cents to $62.56.

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