The Coca-Cola Company to Purchase 16.7% Equity Stake in Monster
The Coca-Cola Company to Contribute its Energy Portfolio to Monster, and Monster its Non-Energy Portfolio to The Coca-Cola Company
Monster to Become The Coca-Cola Company’s Exclusive Energy Play
Focuses Monster as a Pure Play Global Energy Company
The Coca-Cola Company System to Expand Monster Distribution in U.S. and Canada and become Monster’s Preferred Global Distribution Partner
ATLANTA and CORONA, CA., Aug. 14, 2014 – The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) and Monster Beverage Corporation (NASDAQ: MNST) announced today that they have entered into definitive agreements for a long-term strategic partnership that is expected to accelerate growth for both companies in the fast-growing, global energy drink category. The new, innovative partnership leverages the respective strengths of The Coca-Cola Company and Monster to create compelling value for both companies and their shareowners.
Importantly, the partnership strategically aligns both companies for the long-term by combining the strength of The Coca-Cola Company’s worldwide bottling system with Monster’s dedicated focus and expertise as a leading energy player globally.
Details of the Transactions:
Equity Investment: In an effort to align long-term interests, The Coca-Cola Company will acquire an approximately 16.7% ownership interest in Monster (post issuance) and will have two directors on Monster’s Board of Directors. The Coca-Cola Company expects to account for its investment in Monster under the equity accounting method.
Business Transfers: To optimally align product portfolios and enable those portfolios to benefit from each company’s respective brand marketing, production and distribution strengths and optimize the parties’ capital and resource allocation, The Coca-Cola Company will transfer ownership of its worldwide energy business, including NOS, Full Throttle, Burn, Mother, Play and Power Play, and Relentless, to Monster; and Monster will transfer its non-energy business, including Hansen’s Natural Sodas, Peace Tea, Hubert’s Lemonade and Hansen’s Juice Products, to The Coca-Cola Company.
Distribution: The Coca-Cola Company and Monster will amend their current distribution agreement in the U.S. and Canada by expanding into additional territories and entering into long-term agreements. The Coca-Cola Company will become Monster’s preferred distribution partner globally and Monster will become The Coca-Cola Company’s exclusive energy play. These agreements will deliver sustainable value to The Coca-Cola Company’s global system and accelerate Monster’s opportunity to grow internationally.
Pursuant to the terms of the transaction agreements, at the closing, The Coca-Cola Company will make a net cash payment of $2.15 billion and transfer its worldwide energy business to Monster. In exchange, Monster will issue to The Coca-Cola Company the shares of Monster common stock, transfer its non-energy business to The Coca-Cola Company, and enter into expanded distribution arrangements. The transaction, which is expected to close late in 2014 or early in 2015, is subject to customary closing conditions, including receipt of regulatory approvals.
“The Coca-Cola Company continues to identify innovative approaches to partnerships that enable us to stay at the forefront of consumer trends in the beverage industry,” said Muhtar Kent, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Coca-Cola Company. “Our equity investment in Monster is a capital efficient way to bolster our participation in the fast-growing and attractive global energy drinks category. This long-term partnership aligns us with a leading energy player globally, brings financial benefit to our Company and our bottling partners, and supports broader commercial strategies with our customers to bring total beverage growth opportunities that will also benefit our core business.”
Kent added, “We are excited to evolve our long-time partnership. Monster has been an important part of our global system since 2008, so we have experienced first-hand Monster’s performance-driven and entrepreneurial culture, proven success in building and extending the Monster brand and their strong product innovation pipeline. We believe this partnership will create compelling and sustainable value for our system and our shareowners.”
“The transaction announced today represents a unique opportunity for Monster and its shareholders,” said Rodney C. Sacks, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Monster. “We gain enhanced access to The Coca-Cola Company’s distribution system, the most powerful and extensive system in the world. At the same time, we become The Coca-Cola Company’s exclusive energy play, with a robust portfolio led by our Monster Energy line and The Coca-Cola Company’s energy brands. Our business will be bolstered by The Coca-Cola Company energy brands we will acquire, providing us with complementary energy product offerings in many geographies, as well as access to new channels, including vending and specialty accounts,” Sacks said.
“Our agreement enables us to focus on our core energy business, while leveraging the strength of The Coca-Cola Company’s powerful distribution and bottling system on a worldwide scale,” said Hilton H. Schlosberg, Monster’s Vice Chairman and President. “The goals of both companies’ management teams are further aligned, with a great enhancement to Monster’s position as one of the world’s leading energy beverage companies. We expect the transaction to significantly accelerate our growth and results of operations internationally, and we plan to review all options available to return a substantial amount of cash to our shareholders,” Schlosberg added.
Barclays served as financial advisor and Jones Day served as legal advisor to Monster. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP advised The Coca-Cola Company.