Pepsi Bottling Group Acquires Texas Bottler

SOMERS, N.Y. (AP) -- The Pepsi Bottling Group Inc. said Monday it would buy Ab-Tex Beverage Ltd., the fifth buyout announced by the nation's biggest Pepsi bottler since it rejected a buyout offer from PepsiCo Inc.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed. Ab-Tex Beverage Ltd. distributes Pepsi-Cola, Mountain Dew, 7Up and Sunkist in central Texas. It has been owned by the Massey family for more than 70 years.

The transaction is the latest acquisition by Pepsi Bottling Group, which rejected a takeover offer from PepsiCo Inc. in May. Since then, it has bought another Texas bottler, Better Beverages Ltd., and said it planned to purchase Pepsi-Cola Bottlers for the Merrimack Valley Inc., based in Massachusetts. Terms of those deals were also not disclosed. It has also bought two other bottlers that do business in Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and upstate New York.

Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo, maker of drinks like Gatorade and Pepsi colas, first offered to buy Pepsi Bottling Group and another bottler, PepsiAmericas, for $6 billion in April, saying owning its bottlers would help it cut costs and operate more efficiently. But both bottling companies rejected the deal, saying it undervalued them.

Analysts have speculated that PepsiCo needs to raise its offer. PepsiCo is the world's second-biggest maker of soft drinks after the Coca-Cola Co. and owns the Frito-Lay snacks business.

Shares of Pepsi Bottling Group closed Friday at $33.41, up 9 cents. They have traded in a 52-week range of $15.78 to $34.83.

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