Unilever and PepsiCo have formed a 50/50 joint venture to ramp up the marketing and distribution of Unilever's range of Lipton ready-to-drink teas.

The venture - Pepsi Lipton International - will sell RTD tea concentrate to franchise bottlers to boost Pepsi's portfolio of “healthy refreshment beverages”.

Unilever, the maker of Hellmann’s mayonnaise, Dove soap and Marmite said the deal would target markets where Lipton has no presence. And would also benefit from “key high-potential” markets where the maker of Pepsi beverages and Frito-lay snacks was already strong.

Director of Unilever Foods division, Patrick Cescau, said: “We have a strong presence in the developing and emerging markets yet there is plenty of “white space” to move into.

“These markets are the next in our planned rollout and we see Pepsi as the best partner to help us achieve this.”

No financial details were disclosed.