he Coca-Cola Company has announced it has acquired the full ownership stake of sports drink, BodyArmor, for a price of USD$5.6 billion (AUD$7.5 billion).
The move follows a 15% stake purchase in 2018, and comes after Coca-Cola revealed in February it intended to purchase a controlling stake of the company following BodyArmor passing Coca-Cola-owned Powerade for the second-largest market share in the sports drink category, behind Pepsi-Co-owned Gatorade.
Revealing the details of the purchase, Coca-Cola said BodyArmor will remain a separate business as part of Coca-Cola’s US operation, remaining based in New York, with BodyArmor co-founder and chairman, Mike Repole, along with BodyArmor president, Brent Hastie, to remain with the company.
Repole will also collaborate on Coca-Cola’s still beverages portfolio, working to improve marketing, packaging and innovation.
BodyArmor’s retail sales for 2021 are expected to surpass USD$1.4 billion (AUD$1.8 billion), according to Coca-Cola, who broke their record for their largest brand acquisition to date, surpassing the USD$5.1 billion (AUD$6.8 billion) purchase of Costa Coffee in 2019.
Coca-Cola president of North America, Alfredo Rivera, said: “BodyArmor has been a great addition to the system lineup over the last three years, and the company has driven continuous innovation in hydration and health-and-wellness products.”
“We’re excited to bring BodyArmor into The Coca-Cola Company and work with Mike Repole and his leadership team on the next stage of growth,” Rivera said.
Discussing the acquisition, Repole said: “Ten years ago, we set out with a vision to create a better-for-you sports drink with a goal of becoming the number one global sports drink.”
“Our talented leadership team under Brent Hastie, our 400 dedicated employees and incredible Coca-Cola bottling partners have helped us build this remarkable brand.
“If it wasn’t for Kobe Bryant’s vision and belief, BodyArmor would not have been able to achieve the success we had.
“I couldn’t be more excited to become part of the Coca-Cola family and set our sights on the future,” he said.
Bryant first invested USD$6 million (AUD$8 million) in BodyArmor in 2013, with the late NBA star’s estate to earn roughly USD$400 million (AUD$537 million) for the sale of the stake to Coca-Cola.