Pripps Ringnes today agreed to enter into an exclusive franchise bottling agreement with PepsiCo for the production, distribution and sales of Pepsi-Cola and 7UP products in Sweden. Pripps Ringnes will assume these responsibilities for the soft drink brands on January 1, 2001, when PepsiCos agreement with the existing Swedish bottler expires.
'Pepsi's powerful trademark and brands make a winning combination with our proven operating capability, our local beverage industry experience and our continuos development of own strong brands in beer, soft drink and mineral water,' said Paul Bergqvist, president and CEO of Pripps Ringnes. 'We have had the ambition to strengthen our portfolio with a strong brand, own or international, in the cola-segment. We have now realised that ambition. Looking ahead, we are confident we can take the strong momentum that Pepsi has developed in this marketplace and take it to a higher level.'
The companies also announced that they are in preliminary discussions about a potential alliance in Norway. At this time, no franchise agreements have been signed.
'Pripps Ringnes is an ideal future franchise bottling partner for us because they offer world-class scale operations and the ability to operate regionally across borders,' said Morthen Johannessen, Franchise Vice President for Pepsi-Cola Company. 'Their strong regional capabilities fit perfectly with Pepsi's global bottling strategy and will be essential for us to fully realise the opportunities this marketplace has to offer in the next millennium.'
Pripps Ringnes, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Orkla ASA, is the leading beverage company in Sweden and Norway with a strong organisation and nationwide distribution in both countries. The company has a strong and growing position in Russia, Ukraine and the Baltic States through Baltic Beverages Holding (BBH).
Pepsi-Cola Company, the global beverage division of PepsiCo, Inc., is based in Somers, New York. The company's soft drink brands, which include Pepsi, Pepsi Max and 7UP are available in more than 190 countries and territories around the world.
Arild Mathisen, Executive Vice President Pripps Ringnes Tel.: +47 22 56 21 12
Halvor Stenstadvold, Ececutive Vice President Orkla Tel.: +47 22 54 44 32
Astrid Løken Øyehaug, Assistant Vice Pres. Investor Relations Tel.: +47 22 54 44 25