Pepsi squeezes $3.3bn from Tropicana in private equity deal

PepsiCo has agreed a $3.3bn (£2.4bn) deal to offload a majority stake in Tropicana and other juice brands.

The New York-based drinks and snack giant said it would retain a 39% interest in the joint venture with PAI Partners of France.

It had bought Tropicana in 1998 for $3.3bn.

Other brands in the agreement include Naked Juice – a US-focused name.

As well as Pepsi, PepsiCo's brands include Walkers, Doritos and Tropicana
As well as Pepsi, PepsiCo’s brands include Lays and Doritos snacks

Analysts said the deal reflected declining sales of sugary fruit juices since the early 2000s, with households choosing to buy water or other no – or low-calorie – drinks instead amid efforts to tackle obesity.

They also pointed to weaker margins in the juice market.

The businesses made about $3bn in net revenue for PepsiCo last year, with operating profit margins below the group’s as a whole.

Chief executive Ramon Laguarta said: “The sale will give PepsiCo the funds to develop and grow its portfolio of health-focused snacks and zero-calorie beverages”.

Frédéric Stévenin, a managing partner at PAI, added: “We believe there is great growth potential to be realized through investments in product innovation, expansion into adjacent categories, and enhanced scale in branded juice drinks and other chilled categories.”

The deal is expected to close late this year or early next year.

PAI was part of a similar joint venture deal that saw Nestle offload its US ice cream business for $4bn in 2019.

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