Coca-Cola Buys Number 2 U.S. Sport Drink Maker In Largest Brand Acquisition Ever

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On November 1, Coca-Cola announced a major purchase that will dramatically increase the beverage giant’s footprint in the sports drink sector.

The Atlanta-based corporation paid $5.6 billion for the remaining 85 percent ownership in Body Armor, the No. 2 sports drink brand in the United States. It is the largest purchase in the company’s history. Coca-Cola purchased a 15% interest in the company in 2018.

Body Armor will remain a distinct business inside Coca-North Cola’s American operations, maintaining its headquarters in Queens, New York, as well as its senior leadership.

The brand will be distributed through Coca-bottling Cola’s network in the United States.

Body Armor will join Powerade as Coca-other Cola’s heavyweight in the sports drink industry, combining to compete with PepsiCo’s Gatorade, which apparently accounts for slightly more than two-thirds of the category in the United States.

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Body Armor was founded in 2011 by Mike Repole and Lance Collins and gained significant traction in 2013 when the late Kobe Bryant became the company’s third largest stakeholder.

It is marketed as a premium sports drink that has no artificial colors or tastes and provides “better hydration” through electrolytes, potassium, coconut water, and antioxidants. Sports stars Megan Rapinoe, James Harden, and Naomi Osaka, as well as Jennifer Lopez and Carrie Underwood from the entertainment sector, are among its most prominent celebrity endorsers.

The acquisition occurred just four days after Coca-Cola released its third-quarter financial report, which showed that revenue increased by 16 percent year over year (14 percent organic), case volume increased by 6 percent, and operating profit increased by 26 percent.

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