Beverage Industry

PepsiCo, PBV, Honickman swap bottling franchises

Ownership transfers designed to drive local growth, companies say

March 20, 2013

Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo and two of its independent bottlers, Raleigh, N.C.-based Pepsi Bottling Ventures LLC (PBV) and the Honickman Group's Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company of New York (PCNY), College Point, N.Y., announced their intent to transfer certain franchise ownerships in New York, North Carolina, Idaho and Vermont in order to drive local growth.

PepsiCo has agreed in principle to swap five counties of its company-owned North Carolina territory, including Charlotte, to PBV in exchange for PBV's 11 counties in Vermont and 18 counties in Idaho, which are contiguous to other PepsiCo-owned bottling territories. PBV, in turn, has agreed to sell its Long Island, N.Y., territory, including Nassau and Suffolk counties, to the Honickman Group's PCNY, which already operates in each of New York City's five boroughs and New York's Westchester County.

"This move drives operating efficiencies and improved customer service: one of our top priorities,” said Al Carey, chief executive officer of PepsiCo Americas Beverages, in a statement. “Our strong independent bottlers will continue to play a big role in helping us do that — especially at the local level. Combining contiguous territories to build regional strength makes sense, particularly in New York and North Carolina, where the synergies are clear. Idaho and Vermont are well-run businesses that fold into our adjacent, company-owned operations and allow us to be simpler to do business with for our customers."

PBV President and Chief Executive Officer Paul Finney added in a statement: "This is an exciting time for all of us. We look forward to welcoming Pepsi Charlotte into the PBV family and serving consumers and trade customers in North Carolina's largest city. This acquisition will allow us to significantly expand our footprint in the Carolinas while adding scale and leveraging our operating capability across PBV's regional core."

PCNY chairman Harold Honickman also noted in a statement: "We have known for a long time that consolidating our business in New York City and Westchester County with PBV's Long Island territory would be the right move for our combined business and our customers. Nassau and Suffolk counties provide the requisite scale for us to reinvest significantly in our make-sell-deliver capabilities and partner with PepsiCo to proudly reinvigorate our presence in the greater New York market."

Terms of the transactions, which are expected to close in the second quarter of 2013, were not disclosed.