Coke takes stake in Monster Beverage Corp.

CORONA – Coca-Cola is acquiring an ownership interest in Corona- based Monster Beverage Corp., it was announced today.

According to terms of the agreement, Coke’s $2.15 billion procurement of Monster common stock amounts to a 16.7 percent equity stake — a large enough position for the company to claim two seats on Monster’s board of directors.

Both companies will swap certain product lines as part of a marketing and distribution realignment, which is intended to ”optimize the parties’ capital and resource allocation,” representatives from Coke and Monster said in a joint statement.

Coke will turn over its Burn, Full Throttle, Mother, NOS, Power Play and Relentless energy drinks to Monster, while the latter will transfer its Hansen’s Natural Sodas, Hansen’s Juice Products, Hubert’s Lemonade and Peace Tea non-energy products to Coke for future distribution and sales.

”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, Coke’s chairman and CEO. ”Our equity investment in Monster is a capital efficient way to bolster our participation in the fast-growing and attractive global energy drinks category.”

Monster Beverage Corp. CEO Rodney Sacks called the arrangement a ”unique opportunity” that will permit his company to ”gain enhanced access to … the most powerful and extensive (distribution) system in the world.”

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