Deutsche Bank downgraded PepsiAmericas Inc and Pepsi Bottling Group Inc to hold from buy, even as it raised price targets on the two largest Pepsi bottlers, saying it expects PepsiCo's bid price to move up, following the bottlers' initial rebuff.
On April 20, PepsiCo Inc had offered $6 billion to buy the remaining stakes in Pepsi Bottling Group and PepsiAmericas, but was rejected by both the bottlers, saying the offer was undervalued.
Deutsche Bank analyst Marc Greenberg raised his price targets on PepsiAmericas to $27 from $26 and on Pepsi Bottling to $34 from $31.
Greenberg, who downgraded the stocks based on their share price surge since the acquisition proposal, however, said the rationale to renegotiate the deal remains strong.
The deal will result in important synergies that will benefit the soft-drinks giant in many ways, he said, adding that a really big synergy number will reduce employees and distribution infrastructure.
But the analyst warned against expecting too much upside going forward, as the offer was already at a premium with no other potential bidders in sight.
PepsiCo provides about 90 percent of bottler products as well as substantial market funding, he added.
Shares of both PepsiAmericas and Pepsi Bottling were trading almost flat Friday morning on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Nivedita Bhattacharjee in Bangalore; Editing by Anil D'Silva)