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Lion in major Russian buy-out

Lion Capital, the London-based private equity house, has beaten several potential trade buyers thought to include PepsiCo in the race to buy Nidan Soki, Russia’s fourth biggest producer of fruit juices. The deal is valued at more than $500m, making it the biggest foreign leveraged buy-out in Russia’s history.

Lion Capital already owns Orangina, the former Pernod Ricard soft drinks brand, and was keen to land Nidan Soki, which has 17% of the Russian market, because of the huge growth potential based on the appetite of the burgeoning Russian middle class for Western products and lifestyles. The Ministry of Economy says that production of non-alcoholic drinks grew by 37% in the first three months of this year.

Nidan Soki was founded in the early 1990s and produces brands including Moya Semya, Sokos, Caprice and Da! at plants in Moscow and Novosibirsk.

Ron Emler, 08/08/07

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