Ending more than a month of speculation over who might acquire Quaker Oats, PepsiCo Inc. said it had sealed a stock deal worth $13.4 billion. The combined entity is expected to have a market value of more than $80 billion, placing it among the world's five largest consumer products companies. Chief among the selling points is that PepsiCo will gain control of Quaker's Gatorade brand, which dominates the sports-drink market. The agreement matches a bid that Quaker rejected from PepsiCo, the world's No. 2 beverage company, in early November. In the interim, Coca-Cola and the French food group Danone took themselves out of the running.
In a stock swap worth $2.1 billion, drug distributor Cardinal Health Inc. will acquire rival Bindley Western Industries Inc., the companies announced. They said Bindley Western would bring to Cardinal a strong position in sales to the federal government as well as a substantial presence in the area of nuclear medicine. Bindley Western, based in Indianapolis, counts the CVS and Eckerd pharmacy chains as customers. Dublin, Ohio-based Cardinal is the second-largest US wholesaler of pharmaceutical products.
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