So, in the spring of 1989, Pepsi and the Soviet Union signed a remarkable deal. Pepsi became the middleman for 17 old submarines and three warships, including a frigate, a cruiser, and a destroyer, which the company sold for scrap. Pepsi also bought new Soviet oil tankers and leased them out or sold them in partnership with a Norwegian company.
No, but for a short while in 1989 they were the owners of 17 ex-military submarines.
In 2000 China had about 65 submarines.
In 1990 Britain had about 29 submarines (about ten now).
Currently Japan has the sixth largest fleet of submarines with seventeen submarines.
So it is plausible that in 1989 PepsiCo briefly owned the sixth largest "fleet" of military submarines - though it seems certain they were demilitarised. It seems likely they were not in usable condition and were towed by surface tugs to a scrapyard which could pay in US dollars. So the assertion is somewhat poetic rather than factual.
Pepsico recently bought from the Soviets 17 submarines (for a measly $150,000 each), a cruiser, a frigate and a destroyer. They are being resold for scrap.
These peculiar ventures for a soft drink company are a necessary way for it to do business with Moscow. Pepsi has 21 plants in the Soviet Union and wants to open 26 more. The problem, as in most deals with the Soviets, is how to get the money out.
So really it has more to do with the problems of converting currency of the the Soviet Union into hard currency, not to do with PepsiCo's naval ambitions!
It all started in 1959 at an expedition the United States did in Moscow to showcase life in a capitalist world, and the company Pepsi was there. A Pepsi executive, Donald M. Kendall, was a good friend of Nixon, vice president at the time, and when Nikita Khrushchev, the leader of the Soviet Union at the time, got in a debate with Nixon over soviet Satellite states Kendall offered both of them a cup of Pepsi. Khrushchev absolutely loved the drink, and six years later, Kendall was made CEO of Pepsi.
In 1975 he was able to start selling Pepsi inside of the Soviet Union and was able to lock Coca-Cola out of the Soviet Union. There was only one problem, the Soviet Ruble only worked inside the Soviet Union and had no worth outside the Soviet Union. What the Soviet government did have to barter however was lots and lots of Vodka. The Soviets traded Stolichnaya vodka to Pepsi in exchange for Pepsi products to be distributed throughout the Soviet Union. However, in response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the United States held a boycott against Soviet products, including the Vodka that Pepsi was trading. Because of this, the Soviets had no way of paying for their Pepsi with products, so they had to come to a surprising deal.
They traded 17 old submarines, a frigate, and cruiser, and a destroyer. At the time, this was the sixth largest fleet of ships, unfortunately, Pepsi immediately sent the ships to Norway to be scrapped. They also obtained a large fleet of Soviet oil tankers which they sold to obtain more money. So for a short time, it is true the Pepsi had the sixth largest navy in the world, regardless of personal or ammunition. In conclusion, Pepsi, for a short time, owned the sixth largest fleet in the world.