PepsiCo to Buy Israel’s SodaStream for $3.2 billion

You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day. Deuteronomy 8:18 (The Israel Bible™)

International food and drinks giant PepsiCo is set to buy Israeli-based SodaStream International for an eye-watering $3.2 billion.

On August 1 SodaStream reported its strongest results in the company’s history, according to its CEO, Daniel Birnbaum. The company reported a 31% year-over-year jump in revenues to $172 million, an 89% leap in operating profit to $32 million and an 82% climb by net profit to $26 million

In a statement Monday, Birnbaum said that “today [Monday] marks an important milestone in the SodaStream journey. It is a validation of our mission to bring healthy, convenient and environmentally friendly beverage solutions to consumers around the world.

“We are honored to be chosen as PepsiCo’s beachhead for at home preparation to empower consumers around the world with additional choices,” Birnbaum continued. “I am excited our team will have access to PepsiCo’s vast capabilities and resources to take us to the next level. This is great news for our consumers, employees and retail partners worldwide.”

The Tel-Aviv based company manufactures portable machines, cylinders and refillable bottles that allow users to carbonate water, as well as make carbonated drinks. The company is at the forefront of attempting to reduce single-use plastic bottles, which have proven to be a hazard not only to the environment but to human health also.

The company was subject to a concerted effort by the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement to move its offices from the West Bank town of Ma’ale Adumim in 2016. While the company’s headquarters were moved to Tel Aviv, its manufacturing operations moved to an industrial park near to the Bedouin town, Rahat, in the Negev. An irony of the BDS pressure was that hundreds of Palestinian employees were forced to seek alternative employment as they could not obtain permits to work in Israel. SodaStream ended up hiring hundreds of new employees from Rahat and the surrounding area – making it one of biggest employers in the region.

Commenting on the deal, incoming PepsiCo CEO Ramon Laguarta said, “SodaStream is highly complementary and incremental to our business, adding to our growing water portfolio while catalyzing our ability to offer personalized in-home beverage solutions around the world,” adding that “PepsiCo is finding new ways to reach consumers beyond the bottle.”

The deal is expected to close by January 2019.

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