Karlovarske Mineralni Vody is the biggest distributor of soft drinks in Central Europe, and PepsiCo is a global food and beverage company which operates in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. They have now agreed on a joint venture that is buying the complete ownership over Serbia’s water brand Knjaz Milos.
This transaction includes purchasing the production capacities of Knjaz Milos in Serbia, as well as the well-positioned regional brands such as Knjaz Milos, Aqua Viva, Guarana, Remix. It is expected that the transaction will be completed in the third quarter of this year, after the approval by the Commission for Protection of Competition.
Following the acquisition of Knjaz Milos by PepsiCo and the Czech Karlovarske Mineralni Vody, they now occupy the leading spot in the Serbian mineral and spring water market, with a share of almost 28%. Alongside Coca-Cola, who owns the Rosa water factory and was also heavily invested in acquiring Knjaz Milos, the two biggest non-alcoholic beverage corporations in the world own almost half of the Serbian water market.
How much did PepsiCo and Karlovarske Mineralni Vody pay for Knjaz Milos? The price has yet to be officially announced, but media reports speculated it fell somewhere between €200 million and €250 million.
PepsiCo and Karlovarske Mineralni Vody already have a successful partnership in Central Europe. The Czech company is a producer and distributor of PepsiCo drinks in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Bulgaria, as well as a distributor for their snacks in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary.
The trend of shake-ups in the region has continued for some time already. Mid Europa, a leading buyout investor focused on the growth markets of Central and Eastern Europe and its partner in Serbia, businessman Andrej Jovanovic, have already sold the Serbian confectionary and snacks producer Bambi to Coca-Cola for €260 million earlier this year.
In 2015, Bambi was acquired by Danube Foods Group together with Knjaz Milos and Imlek for €575 million. Interestingly enough, in 2008, businessmen Andrej Jovanovic and Bojan Milovanovic sold their company Marbo, a successful manufacturer of snacks, to Pepsi for €200 million.