MOSCOW: The rapidly emerging Russian market has proved irresistible to PepsiCo which has just inked a $1.4 billion (€906m; £705m) deal to buy the country's leading branded juice maker, JSC Lebedyansky.

The company has an estimated 30% share of the domestic market and is the six largest juice manufacturer in the world. Its juice business revenues in 2007 were around $800m.

Lebedyansky's nearest Russian competitor, Multon, was snapped up by PepsiCo's arch-rival, the Coca-Cola Company, three years ago for $530m.

Comments PepsiCo Europe president Zein Abdalla: "From the PepsiCo standpoint, this investment represents one of the most exciting steps our company has ever taken internationally."

Eric Foss, ceo of  the Pepsi Bottling Group -PepsiCo's partner in the deal - adds that Russia "represents our biggest growth market, and we are making smart investments that further enhance our business there".

Data sourced from Financial Times Online; additional content by WARC staff