After a successful 29-month investment in Nidan Juices, Britain’s Lion Capital is looking at offers to sell its 75% stake in the Russian juice producer. Lion Capital has been working with possible buyers including Baltiks and Wimm-Bill-Dann, but Coca-Cola is the front-runner having already completed due diligence.
A successful acquisition will give Coca-Cola an edge over rival Pepsico as the leading juicer in Russia. Coca-Cola is preparing an application to be submitted to Russian anti-monopoly regulators.
Nidan Juices (www.nidan.ru)
Nidan Juices was founded in 1998 and is now among the top three juice producers in Russia. With close to 17% of the Russian market and 43% in Siberia, Nidan operates a distribution network covering all of Russia and extending to nine neighboring countries. In addition to fruit juices, Nidan’s two plants in Moscow and Novosibirsk also produce a variety of teas and dairy products. 2007 revenue for the company was reported at USD 333 million.
Lion Capital (www.lioncapital.com)
London’s Lion Capital sets itself apart from other investment firms in focusing on consumer-oriented companies.
The firm was officially founded in 2004 but was previously associated with American firm Hicks, Muse, Tate, & Furst (HMTF). Lion Capital Funds I & II combine for more than €2.8 billion of assets currently under management. The focus of the funds tends to be companies in the consumer sector with attractive profit margins, high cash conversion and stable cash flow.