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Coca-Cola Eyes Russian juice maker Nidan: sources

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The deal would allow Coca-Cola, the world’s largest soft drink maker, to take over a leading position on the Russian juice market from rival PepsiCo (PEP.N), which together with Pepsi Bottling Group Inc (PBG.N), owns Russia’s largest juice maker Lebedyansky.

Lion Capital bought a 75 percent stake in Russia’s fourth-largest juice maker in 2007 and is now offering to sell it, two sources close to Nidan Soki told Reuters.

“Coca-Cola is one of the pretenders,” a source close to the deal participants said.

Another source, familiar with Lion Capital’s plans, said that the fund had been looking for a buyer since November 2009, adding that “the deal between Nidan and Coca-Cola is very likely this year.”

Coca-Cola owns Russian juice maker Multon, through which it controls nearly 22 percent of the Russian juice market, according to research group Business Analitika.

Pepsi has a 32 percent market share, Wimm-Bill-Dann (WBD.N) has 19 percent and Nidan Soki has a 14 percent share.

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