Coca-Cola has made its largest-ever acquisition with last weeks purchase of Glaceau for $4.1 billion. The bottled drink company, which includes Vitaminwater, Fruitwater, Formula 50 (endorsed by rapper 50 Cent), and Energywater, will give Coca-Cola about 30 per cent of the US market in the rapidly expanding category.
Coca-Cola accounts for 5 percent of the U.S. market for water drinks, while PepsiCo has 45 percent with its SoBe, Aquafina and Propel brands. Sales of such drinks rose about 50 percent last year while soda dropped for the second year in a row, according to John Sicher, the editor of Beverage Digest. The 11-year-old company, based in the New York borough of Queens, had sales of $350 million last year, according to Morgan Stanley analyst Bill Pecoriello. The purchase should be complete in mid-june.
Rapper 50 Cent, who has a 10 percent share in the company, earned about 400 million out of the deal. "It's a perfect match connecting the hottest active lifestyle brand with the full resources of the world's best beverage company," said J. Darius Bikoff, Glacéau founder and chief executive officer. "To best understand today's announcement, you really need to go out, buy a bottle of Vitamin Water and try it for yourself to see how well it works."
"This is an outstanding opportunity for both of our companies to build an expanded active lifestyle business, first in the United States and then around the world," said Muhtar Kent, president and chief operating officer of The Coca-Cola Company. "Glacéau and its brands also provide us with highly attractive longer-term international opportunities. We look forward to discussing with Glacéau's distributors and our bottling partners the best operating model for Glacéau's routes-to-market."
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