All Market Inc has sold a 25% stake of Vita Coco to a Chinese distributor for about US$166m, as the coconut water brand prepares to launch in the country.

All Market said late yesterday (14 July) the deal, with Beijing-based Reignwood Group, will give it access to Reignwood's nation-wide distribution and retail network. Reignwood operates Red Bull China, which distributes and manufactures the Red Bull brand in the country.

Red Bull China is not connected to Austrian energy drinks maker Red Bull, which is barred from entering the Chinese market. Red Bull maintains that the version of its namesake energy drink available in China is an “entirely different product” and has “different ingredients” to the version available elsewhere.

In a statement, All Market said it has found success with the Vita Coco brand in the US, Europe and Japan, and that it “expects China to follow suit”. The country “has long appreciated the taste and functional benefits of natural coconut water”, All Market said.

The deal values All Market at $665m.

Red Bull China has four manufacturing hubs in China, in Beijing, Hubei, Guangzhou and Hainan.