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PepsiCo spin-off could be worth $12bn

New York - The spin-off by PepsiCo of its fast-food units could be worth as much as $12bn (pounds 7.4bn) and will create a company with more restaurants world-wide than the American burger behemoth McDonald's. Confirmation of the spin-off came late on Thursday from Pepsi, which explained that it wanted to focus more intently on its drinks unit. Pepsi has come under furious pressure from its bigger rival, Coca-Cola.

"I believe that the new restaurant company will be a powerful organisation with great potential, the `new' PepsiCo will be better than ever, and both companies will be far more capable of improving their operations to create solid sustainable growth," said PepsiCo chairman Roger Enrico. The new restaurant company, which has the Pizza Hut, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Taco Bell brands, will boast some 29,000 outlets world-wide.