• Pepsi buys rights to Telepizza soda sales

MADRID -- According to the Spanish Web news portal Expansion, PepsiCo has purchased exclusive rights to supply soda to TelePizza, a Spanish pizza chain with more than 830 stores. Price tag on the deal was about $6.5 million.

The report said that many TelePizza franchisees objected to the agreement, though they are not bound by it. Franchisee use of chain-wide common marketing campaigns, however, likely will influence them to follow suit.

TelePizza's stock recently dropped nearly 15 percent in late October, when company representatives denied rumors of a possible hostile takeover by Pizza Hut, and a possible merger with Swiss giant Nestle.

The chain is the pizza leader in Spain, employing about 9,500 people, and posting sales in 2000 of $293 million.

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