PepsiCo CEO: Sodastream growth exceeding our expectations

CEO Daniel Birnbaum and other SodaStream executive officers remained at the company following the completion of the acquisition.

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July 11, 2019 21:24
2 minute read.
Chief Executive Officer of PepsiCo Ramon Laguarta with Daniel Birnbaum, SodaStream CEO.

Ramon Laguarta, Elected Chief Executive Officer of PepsiCo, (R) shakes hands with Daniel Birnbaum, CEO of SodaStream, in Tel Aviv.. (photo credit: REUTERS/AMIR COHEN)

 
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Carbonated drink-maker SodaStream is recording faster growth than expected since PepsiCo's $3.2 billion acquisition of the Israeli company, according to Ramon Luis Laguarta, chairman and CEO of the American food and beverage giant.

“SodaStream is doing very well, right?” Laguarta told investors after PepsiCo announced positive financial results for the second quarter of 2019.

“I mean it’s exceeding our expectations in terms of the growth potential and growth execution. So we’re feeling good, we’re understanding more about this platform.”

Exceeding Wall Street forecasts on Tuesday, PepsiCo announced a 4.5% increase in second quarter organic revenues to $16.45b. The company expects full-year organic revenue growth totaling 4%.

Laguarta said PepsiCo was aiming to insert some of its capabilities, particularly regarding flavors, into SodaStream, which he believes were previously underoptimized direct-to-consumer capabilities.

While trying to introduce those capabilities, Laguarta emphasized that SodaStream would continue to be run as a separate business aiming to disrupt the bottle industry and reduce plastic waste reduction.

PepsiCo recently announced that its premium bottled water brand, LIFEWTR, will be an entirely recycled brand, the sparkling water bubly brand will be plastic-free, and it will also be testing its purified bottled water brand Aquafina in cans in some US regions. The company has also committed to being 50% recycled by 2030 in the European Union.

“We’re also exploring some [circular] waste management opportunities with our snacks bags in Europe, especially in the UK, and also in India,” said Laguarta. “So we’re really exploring a lot of the physical circularity and making some commitments on which packaging solutions we’ll use.”

New York-headquartered PepsiCo completed its acquisition of SodaStream in December 2018 as part of its “performance with purpose” strategy, linking the success of PepsiCo to global sustainability.

Announcing the proposed acquisition in August, Laguarta said SodaStream would continue to be based in Israel for at least 15 years, if not indefinitely. PepsiCo added it was planning to open a further manufacturing facility in Israel following the closure of the deal.

CEO Daniel Birnbaum and other SodaStream executive officers remained at the company following the completion of the acquisition, with PepsiCo telling SodaStream shareholders in September that it considered the retention of current company employees as “key to the success of the merger.”

US-born Birnbaum is set to earn $4 million in time-based cash awards, $10m. in time-based equity awards vesting over the three years following the deal, and up to $20m. for performance-based equity awards over the same period.

SodaStream’s other executive officers are set to receive $1.9m. in time-based cash awards, $3.6m for time-based equity awards, and up to $1.8m. for performance-based equity awards. The company’s employees will also share approximately $23.5m. in cash and equity awards, in addition to approximately $12.5m. for employees not participating in SodaStream’s equity plans.

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