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SodaStream Climbs on Takeover Talk as Pepsi Denies Deal

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- SodaStream International (SODA - Get Report) climbed Thursday in New York despite PepsiCo (PEP - Get Report)'s denial of a report that it seeks to acquire the Israeli maker of soda machines.

The Calcalist, an Israeli business newspaper, said Pepsi had reached out to Airport City, Israel-based SodaStream through Goldman Sachs (GS)about an acquisition that could be valued at as much as $2 billion.

Yonah Lloyd, Sodastream's executive director of corporate development, in an e-mail, said "we do not comment on rumor and speculation." SodaStream gained 2.7% to $72.76 after shares rose as high as $76.04. Volume was more than four times the daily three-month average. Sodastream has surged 59% this year compared to a 13% advance for the Nasdaq Composite Index.

PepsiCo Jim Wilkinson told Reuters that "the rumor is untrue." Despite Pepsi's denial, SodaStream has been gaining in recent days with the shares advancing 13.6% so far this week.

Sodastream continues to grow, fueled in part by increasing U.S. sales. The company's $436 million in sales in 2012 generated an 18% increase in net income to $44 million. Estimates have SodaStream expanding this year with sales expected to reach $466 million.

Sodastream aired its first Super Bowl advertisement earlier this year, building on a previously launched marketing campaign in the U.S. The Calcalist reported that Pepsi became interested in the Israeli company after U.S. sales doubled in 2012.

The Israeli beverage company produces a soda machine complete with bottle that carbonates ordinary tap water. Sodastream also sells a variety of syrups to flavor the water. This formula has been so popular that firm has received a market valuation of $1.4 billion.

Written by Robert Arenella in New York

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