Definition of Problem
Senior Management of PepsiCo is evaluating the potential acquisition of two companies – Carts of Colorado and California Pizza Kitchen – in order to expand the company’s restaurant business. If indeed PepsiCo decides to pursue the acquisition of one or both, they must decide how to align each of these business units in its historically decentralized management approach and how to forge relationships between the acquired business units and existing business units. In their evaluation, Senior Management is faced with the question of whether the necessary capital investment in order to purchase one or both of the businesses can be profitable for each of the acquired business units, but must also take into consideration that the additional business units will not hinder the profitability of the existing business units.
Analysis of the Problem
At the end of 1991, PepsiCo had EBITDA of $2.1 billion or operating profit margin of 10.8% - down from profit margins of 12.2% and 11.7% in 1990 and 1989, respectively. In addition, net sales only grew by 10.1% in 1991 – considerably low versus growth of 16.8% and 21.6% in 1990 and 1989, respectively. Recent acquisitions of Taco Bell franchises in 1988, bottling operations in 1989, Smiths Crisps Ltd. and Walkers Crisps Holding Ltd. in 1989, and Sabritas S.A. de C.V. in 1990 aided sales in growth in 1989 and 1990. Additionally, a joint venture with the Thomas J. Lipton Co. in 1991 to develop and market new tea-based beverages may lead to greater sales in the future. However, there is some need for an immediate return on its investments in order to sustain historical revenue growth and increase the current profit margins.
Since the 1960’s PepsiCo has aggressively targeted acquisitions and mergers with companies that can effectively brand the PepsiCo name and also differentiate itself from being known merely as a distributor of soft drinks. With the previous merger with the Frito-Lay Company, and acquisitions of Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and Kentucky Fried Chicken, PepsiCo successfully ventured into different segments in the food services industry, but was also able to create synergies with its soft drink product. PepsiCo also attempted to integrate into trucking transportation and bottle manufacturing in the 1970s.
PepsiCo faces two very different companies in its most recent potential acquisition. Carts of Colorado is a designer, manufacturer, and merchandiser of mobile food carts – not directly in the food services industry, they do cater to a large corporate customer base along with PepsiCo that includes Coca-Cola, Burger King, Dunkin Donuts, and Mrs. Fields. Alternatively, California Pizza Kitchen is a casual dining restaurant with 25 locations in eight states, typically located in affluent areas.
Sales for Carts of Colorado in 1991 were $7,650,000 and EBITDA in 1991 was $945,187 or a 12% operating margin. The mobile food business has had success...