Brewing giant Anheuser-Busch and US soft drink group Hansen Natural Corporation have tied up a distribution deal.

The announcement, made today (9 May) follows reports that the two companies were in talks a month ago. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The agreement means that certain A-B wholesalers will become distributors of Hansen's Monster Energy and Lost Energy drinks, Rumba energy juice drinks as well as an additional Hansen energy brand to be designated.

Monster, Lost and Rumba are currently distributed by Hansen in the US through a network of beer and spirits distributors and soft drink bottlers. Hansen will shift distribution of the drinks to select A-B wholesalers in markets to be designated by Hansen.

The transition process is expected to begin in the near future and will continue over the next year.

"Anheuser-Busch has a first-class distribution system that will enable Hansen to expand availability and improve the presence of our products across all channels, particularly in areas where our brands have historically been under-represented," said Rodney C. Sacks, chairman and chief executive officer of Hansen.

"We look forward to working together to build on the success of our Monster, Lost and Rumba energy brands and we intend to continue to evaluate additional opportunities with Anheuser-Busch."

A-B president August A. Busch IV added: "We pride ourselves on innovation and will not limit ourselves to malt beverages in offering exciting new products for our wholesalers and consumers.

"We recognised the potential of this category when we launched our own energy drink, 180, in 2001. These agreements bring value to A-B, Hansen, our wholesalers and our retailers. They allow us to expand our business in this thriving category through our world-class network of wholesalers."