Feb. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Pepsi-Cola Venezuela CA has four days to provide receipts to the government after the country’s price control agency received complaints that the company raised its price for mineral water ahead of price caps.
The company, a joint venture between PepsiCo Inc. and the country’s largest foodmaker, Empresas Polar, must provide receipts for the November-to-January period showing what it has been charging for the water, according to a government statement sent by e-mail today.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez froze the prices of 19 consumer and cleaning products late last year as he widened price controls to slow inflation that he says is fueled by capitalist speculation. Chavez ordered Procter & Gamble Co. and Coca-Cola Femsa SAB this week to cut prices on deodorant and 5- liter bottles of water by 24 percent and 46 percent, respectively, saying he would seize the companies if they don’t comply.
Pepsi-Cola produces and distributes carbonated beverages, bottled water, Gatorade and juices in Venezuela.
Government agents had “explained clearly the goals of their visit,” said Diana Sardi, Pepsi-Cola’s legal representative for the joint venture in Venezuela, according to the government statement.
Telephone calls placed outside of normal business hours to Pepsi’s offices in Venezuela and the U.S. went unanswered.
--Editors: Sylvia Wier, Joe Sabo
To contact the reporter on this story: Jose Orozco in Caracas at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Joshua Goodman at email@example.com