The Coca-Cola Company announced that it has acquired full ownership of BodyArmor for $5.6 billion in cash. The company initially owned a 15 percent stake in BodyArmor but has now acquired the remaining 85 percent.
This acquisition is the largest purchase ever made by Coca-Cola in its 129-year history. BodyArmor’s line of sports performance and hydration drinks will be added to the company’s portfolio in hopes of growing significantly in the market.
BodyArmor is the second-largest sports drink in the market after PepsiCo’s Gatorade, with sales of more than $1.4 billion and a growing rate of 50 percent.
“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,” said Alfredo Rivera, president of the North America operating unit of The Coca-Cola Company, in a press release. “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.”
BodyArmor will be managed as a separate business and will be based in New York. Additionally, the executive leadership team will continue to work with BodyArmor to keep the brand’s momentum intact in the market.
In order to meet increasing consumer demand, in 2018, when Coca-Cola acquired 15 percent of the company, BodyArmor was able to use the beverage giant’s bottling system, and they’ll continue to do so post-acquisition.
“Ten years ago, we set out with a vision to create a better-for-you sports drink with a goal of becoming the #1 global sports drink,” Repole said in the same statement.
“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 added.
Coca-Cola will collaborate with Repole on the company’s beverage portfolio by working on the marketing, packaging, and innovation strategies.
But this acquisition did not happen overnight; the company has been rebuilding its portfolio to include beverages like BodyArmor as they work toward being one of the leading beverage corporations in the world.
According to Sports Illustrated, the Kobe Bryant estate will make $400 million for its stake in the company after Coke bought out BodyArmor. Bryant invested $6 million in 2013 as he became a significant shareholder in the company.