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Pepsi Bottling to buy Mass. bottler

Associated Press / May 15, 2009
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SOMERS, N.Y. - Pepsi Bottling Group Inc., the largest bottler for soft drink maker PepsiCo Inc., said yesterday that it plans to buy a fellow bottler in Massachusetts.

Terms of the deal to acquire Haverhill-based Pepsi-Cola Bottlers for the Merrimack Valley Inc. were not disclosed.

Somers-based Pepsi Bottling rejected a takeover offer by PepsiCo Inc. last week. PepsiCo first offered to buy Pepsi Bottling Group and another bottler, PepsiAmericas, for $6 billion last month, saying owning its bottlers would help it cut costs and operate more efficiently.

Both bottling companies rejected the deal, saying it undervalued them. Analysts agree that the deal will go through if PepsiCo boosts its offer.

On Monday, PepsiCo sued Pepsi Bottling, saying the company did not give proper notice of the meeting where the bulk of its board voted to reject the offer and approved a shareholder rights plan.