PepsiCo Creates New Bottling Unit

PURCHASE, N.Y. (AP) -- PepsiCo Inc., the soft drink and snacks maker, said Monday it is forming a new bottling unit called PepsiCo Bottling North America.

Eric J. Foss will become chief executive of the new bottling unit. Foss currently serves as chairman and CEO of Pepsi Bottling Group, having joined Pepsi-Cola Co. in 1982.

The news follows the company's decision revealed in August to buy its two top bottlers, Pepsi Bottling Group and PepsiAmericas, for $7.8 billion.

PepsiCo Bottling North America will consist of all Pepsi Bottling Group and PepsiAmericas operations in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. It will integrate the two bottlers into a smaller organization and account for about three-quarters of volume of PepsiCo's North American bottling system. Independent franchisees will account for the rest.

PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi said the move will allow the company to maintain the operating focus created by its purchase of its bottlers, particularly in North America.

PepsiCo will also establish a special advisory board, with members that include Foss and Nooyi, among others.

Shares fell 12 cents to $60.78 in morning trading.

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