9 JANUARY 2002

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Farsons secures 7UP

Simonds Farsons Cisk yesterday announced it has been appointed by PepsiCo International Limited as the exclusive franchisee to produce, bottle, sell and distribute 7UP and Diet 7UP in Malta and Gozo. The agreement was effective as of yesterday.

SFC’s confirmation has verified rumours that the former bottlers, Portanier Brothers, would soon be letting go of the brand. In fact, employees at the St Venera-based company had also got wind of the rumours but repeated enquiries put forth by the staff to the upper management had consistently been answered in the negative.

The exclusive appointment sealed by SFC, which has been the producer of Pepsi-Cola’s brands since 1978, combines the production and bottling of the PepsiCo brands, Pepsi and 7UP, at the same facility and is a reflection of the consolidation in beverage ownership and production that is taking place world-wide.

In a short statement released to the press late yesterday evening, the Farsons Group explained that it views the appointment as the recognition and appreciation by PepsiCo International of Farsons’ continuing efforts in quality improvement and efficiency.

However, whether SFC’s share price on the Malta Stock Exchange will be affected by the announcement remains to be seen over the rest of the week’s trading and will also serve to gauge the sensitivity of Malta’s investing public. SFC shares currently stand at Lm0.736 in average price.

The Group explains that the selling of 7UP to retail outlets will commence through the Farsons selling organisation with immediate effect. It adds that it is convinced that the production and distribution synergies attainable by the combined delivery of renowned brands such as Kinnie, Pepsi, 7UP, Schweppes, Sunkist, together with the Farsons portfolio of beers such as Cisk and Carlsberg, will also benefit the retailer and the consumer.

The Group expressed its belief that the enhancement of the Farsons portfolio with the inclusion of the global brand 7UP will further improve production efficiencies as well as shareholder value.

The Business Times, Network House, Vjal ir-Rihan San Gwann SGN 07
Tel: (356) 382741-3, 382745-6 | Fax: (356) 385075 | e-mail: editorial@networkpublications.com.mt