Chadbourne seals PepsiCo Russia acquisition

Chadbourne Parke and Clifford Chance have won places as main legal advisors in soft drinks giant PepsiCo’s $1.46bn (£740m) bid for control of Russia’s leading juice company.

Working for Chadbourne on behalf of PepsiCo and Pepsi Bottling Group are Moscow corporate partners Laura Brank and Konstantin Konstantinov.

Clifford Chance represented major shareholders at Russia’s JSC Lebedyansky with a team led by Moscow-based M&A partner Yuri Kachuro.

PepsiCo has agreed to buy a 75.5 per cent stake in the Russian-listed company. The remaining portion of the company will be spun off into a separate business selling water and baby food.

The deal, which is subject to shareholder approval and anti-monopoly approval, is the first major transaction for Chadbourne on behalf of PepsiCo. The firm won a place representing PepsiCo in a beauty parade two years ago, seeing off previous advisors Baker & McKenzie.

Chadbourne’s Brank said the deal was complicated by Russian laws ensuring every aspect of the transaction was approved by shareholders.

She added: “This is one of the first big M&A deals by a foreign company for a public company in Russia.”

PepsiCo produces Pepsi, Gatorade, Tropicana and Quaker Oats. JSC Lebedyansky’s most popular brand, fruit juice Ya, will now be added to the portfolio and marketed in Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan.

The deal is expected to be completed within a month.