(Mark Neyman/GPO)

“PepsiCo and SodaStream are an inspired match,” said PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi. SodaStream “has built an extraordinary company.”

By: United with Israel Staff and AP

PepsiCo Inc. and Israel’s SodaStream International Ltd. announced Monday that they have entered into an agreement under which the American company will acquire all outstanding shares of SodaStream for $144.00 per share in cash, in a transaction valued at $3.2 billion.

“PepsiCo and SodaStream are an inspired match,” said PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi. “[SodaStream CEO] Daniel [Birnbaum] and his leadership team have built an extraordinary company that is offering consumers the ability to make great-tasting beverages while reducing the amount of waste generated.”

SodaStream’s “focus is well-aligned with Performance with Purpose, our philosophy of making more nutritious products while limiting our environmental footprint. Together, we can advance our shared vision of a healthier, more-sustainable planet,” he added.

Daniel Birnbaum, SodaStream CEO and director, said that the acquisition “marks an important milestone in the SodaStream journey. It is validation of our mission to bring healthy, convenient and environmentally friendly beverage solutions to consumers around the world.”

SodaStream is “honored to be chosen as PepsiCo’s beachhead for at home preparation to empower consumers around the world with additional choices,” he added. PepsiCo’s strong distribution capabilities, global reach, R&D, design and marketing expertise, combined with SodaStream’s differentiated and unique product range will position SodaStream for further expansion and breakthrough innovation, PepsiCo stated.

The transaction is another step in PepsiCo’s Performance with Purpose journey, promoting health and wellness through environmentally friendly, cost-effective and fun-to-use beverage solutions.

The closing of the deal is expected by January 2019.

Israel’s SodaStream is the leading sparkling water brand in volume in the world and the leading manufacturer and distributor of Sparkling Water Makers. Their product enables consumers to easily transform ordinary tap water into sparkling water and flavored sparkling water in seconds. By making ordinary water fun and exciting to drink, SodaStream helps consumers drink more water.

“The recent major acquisitions of Israeli companies prove not only the technological capabilities that have been developed in Israel, but the business capabilities as well. I welcome this huge deal that will enrich the state treasury and also the important decision to keep the company in Israel,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated.

Thriving Despite BDS

SodaStream’s products are available at more than 80,000 individual retail stores across 45 countries.

SodaStream, which produces machines that allow people to make fizzy drinks, has been targeted by the anti-Israel boycott movement. SodaStream announced in 2014 it was closing its factory in Judea, and the BDS movement declared victory and said its pressure was behind the decision.

Birnbaum said the boycott movement has only had a “marginal” effect on his business. He accused the BDS movement of spreading lies and said Palestinian employees were given pay and benefits far higher than anything else they could find in the Palestinian Authority.

“It’s propaganda. It’s politics. It’s hate. It’s anti-Semitism. It’s all the bad stuff we don’t want to be part of,” Birnbaum said.

SodaStream employed up to 600 Palestinians at the Judea factory and sought to transfer their jobs to the Israeli plant in the Negev. Israel has granted fewer work permits due to security issues. Thus many Palestinians have lost their source of livelihood, while the factory continued to thrive.

“SodaStream should have been encouraged in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) if (the BDS movement) truly cared about the Palestinian people,” Birnbaum said.