ATLANTA — The Coca-Cola Co. and Monster Beverage Corp. have closed on the strategic partnership first announced last August. As a result of the transaction, Atlanta-based Coca-Cola now owns an approximate 16.7% stake in Corona, Calif.-based Monster for a net cash payment of approximately $2.15 billion.
As part of the arrangement, Coca-Cola has transferred ownership of its global energy drink business, which includes NOS, Full Throttle, Burn, Mother, BU, Gladiator, Samurai, Nalu, BPM, Play and Power Play, Ultra and Relentless, to Monster. Monster has transferred its non-energy drink business, including Hansen’s Natural Sodas, Peace Tea, Hubert’s Lemonade and Hansen’s Juice Products, to Coca-Cola.
Monster and Coca-Cola and its bottlers have amended distribution arrangements in the United States and Canada by expanding into additional territories and entering into long-term agreements. Coca-Cola has become Monster’s preferred global distribution partner with new distribution commitments already in place with bottlers in Germany and Norway.
Following the completion of the transaction, Monster has added to its board of directors two leaders from Coca-Cola. Kathy N. Waller, executive vice-president and chief financial officer, and Gary P. Fayard, a 20-year veteran of Coca-Cola who retired as executive vice-president and chief financial officer in April 2014, will expand the Monster board to 10 members.
In its most recent quarter, Monster reported a 95% drop in earnings as a result of distributor termination costs associated with the arrangement.
“We believe that the first quarter of 2015 was negatively impacted domestically by events relating to the closing of the transactions and the transitioning of our brands in the U.S. from existing distributors to The Coca-Cola Co. and its bottling partners as well as internationally due to the uncertainty inherent in the anticipated closing of the transactions,” said Rodney Sacks, chairman and chief executive officer of Monster, during a May 7 earnings call with financial analysts. “At this time, we cannot quantify what impact the transactions, including the transitions, will have on our second quarter.”
Now that the deal is closed, for Monster, the partnership unlocks access to Coke’s entire international system and allows the company to take a focused approach to growing its brands around the world.“We are excited by the addition of The Coca-Cola Co. energy brands to our Monster energy portfolio, which will provide us with complementary product offerings in many countries, access to new geographies as well as access to new channels, including vending and specialty accounts,” Mr. Sacks said.