Big Red shows interest in Jones Soda

by Eric Schroeder
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SEATTLE — Jones Soda Co. said it has received a written indication of interest from Big Red Holdings Corp. to acquire Jones Soda for 30c per share of common stock. The price would mark a 55% discount to the stock’s 66c closing price Dec. 21. Based on Jones Soda’s 26.5 million shares outstanding the deal is worth $7.95 million.

Jones Soda is a provider of premium sodas known for its variety of flavors and innovative labeling technique that incorporates always-changing photos sent in from its customers. Big Red Holdings is the parent company of Big Red, Inc., one of the top 10 carbonated soft drink companies in the United States marketing Big Red soda and other flavored drinks.

Jones Soda has been evaluating its strategic alternatives since retaining North Point Advisors in February. The company said it has reviewed a range of alternatives to enhance shareholder value, including the continued execution of the company’s business plan, potential fundraising opportunities, strategic partnerships and distribution arrangements, and potential combinations with strategic and financial investors.

“We have strived over the last 12 months to streamline our business by reducing costs and focusing on our core glass bottle business,” said Joth Ricci, president and chief executive officer of Jones Soda, which was founded in 1986. “We have achieved year-over-year bottom-line results on lower case volumes, and we believe in the strength of the Jones Soda brand. However, adverse conditions have continued to negatively impact our liquidity and financial condition and caused us to explore strategic alternatives in an effort to enhance shareholder value. While the board conducts this process, we will continue to focus on executing our strategy.”

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