When it comes to making acquisitions, PepsiCo (PEP) - Get Report has always been a patient bunch. But when it decides to strike, it very often strikes big and with something that could transform the company's bottom line.
One such deal could be lurking. The soda and snacks maker is in talks to acquire All Market Inc., the owner of coconut water brand Vita Coco, Reutersreported on Friday evening. PepsiCo offered less than the $1 billion that All Market's owners have been seeking to sell the company, the report said.
A PepsiCo spokesman told TheStreet the company doesn't comment on rumors or speculation.
An acquisition of Vita Coco would give PepsiCo a dominant market position in coconut water, which in itself is part of a strong outlook for plant-based hydration products as consumers shift to healthier drinks. PepsiCo already sells coconut water under its One, Kero Coco and Naked brands. These offerings go head-to-head with Coca-Cola's (KO) - Get Report Zico coconut water, a brand it acquired in 2013.
Global sales of plant-based waters grew 21% in 2016 to about $2.7 billion, according to food and drink consoltency Zenith Global. By 2020, the market is seen having doubled to $5.4 billion.
PepsiCo chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi is no stranger to doing to deals. But to her credit, she has embodied PepsiCo's history of doing deals that make strategic sense and aren't at nosebleed valuations.
"We have yet to find that gem of a company -- there is nothing out there at the moment," Nooyi said at the Consumer Analyst Group of New York conference (CAGNY) in 2016.
Nooyi added that "we don't shy away from investments that could grow this company." The long-time PepsiCo executive explained at the time the company was having trouble either finding the right strategic fit, or was unwilling to pay high multiples for up-and-coming beverage or snack brands.
To be sure, the modern day PepsiCo has been created via doing the big deal. The most prominent being its combination with snack maker Frito Lay in 1965.
In 1998, PepsiCo purchased Tropicana for about $3.3 billion, a deal Nooyi was heavily involved in making happen. Then in 2000, Nooyi was instrumental in getting PepsiCo to plunk down a colossal $13.4 billion to buy Quaker Oats, which also gave it access to the coveted Gatorade brand. The company's purchase of Izze for an undisclosed sum in 2006 gave it access to the hot-selling sparkling water category, while in the same year it gobbled up juice brand Naked for an undisclosed amount.
The company's last huge brand acquisition was Russian dairy products and fruit-juice maker Wimm-Bill-Dann for about $5.4 billion in 2010. In November 2016, PepsiCo acquired probiotic drinks maker Kevita for an undisclosed sum.
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Editors' pick: Originally published May 27.
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