Bang Energy maker Vital Pharmacuticals (VPX) is to make 463 of its employees redundant, as a deal to sell the company to Monster Beverage Corp. edges closer to completion.

The Florida-headquartered company has filed a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) notice with state officials and has informed staff of its plans to make mass layoffs between 3 and 10 September.

The company said the cuts are expected to be permanent and would apply to all employees at its facility in Weston, Florida. VPX’s production site in Phoenix, Arizona, has been included as an asset in the proposed sale of the business to Monster.

A number of Bang Energy employees took to social media to share news of their exit from the company.

“As many of you may already be aware, Bang Energy has recently been acquired by another company, which marks the end of my journey with this remarkable organisation,” wrote Destiny Alvarez, the company’s social media coordinator.

Marketing specialist Chirsty-Anne Bare added: “After several great years at Bang Energy, I have unfortunately been impacted by recent organisational changes that happen when coming face to face with a merger. While it is disheartening to face this unexpected turn of events, I am choosing to view it as an opportunity for growth and new beginnings.”

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In a statement to Just Drinks, the company said it was communicating with its teams “openly and transparently” about the restructuring.

It welcomed the decision of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to end its merger review process early on 3 July, which it said would pave the way for the transaction to close.

“On Wednesday 28 June, an Asset Purchase Agreement (APA) was signed between Monster Beverage Corporation and Vital Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (and other debtor entities),” the company said. “The APA was contingent on clearance being provided by the Federal Trade Commission on or before 11:59pm ET on Friday 30 June 2023. 

“The FTC officially communicated an early termination of their review period, clearing the way for the Monster and VPX transaction to progress to closing. The transaction is subject to certain terms and closing conditions, which include obtaining Bankruptcy Court approval.

“As we move forward with this transaction, we are required to comply with the federal WARN Act to inform a group of our employees that they may be impacted by a future workforce reduction. We are communicating with our teams openly and transparently.”

Bang Energy’s lawyers had warned the FTC’s review process could scupper the transaction and result in a complete shutdown of its business, causing around 700 jobs to be lost.

Monster announced it had struck a deal to acquire its rival Bang last week. The company did not place a value on the transaction but a leaked court document on 29 June showed the two parties had entered into an “asset purchase agreement” valuing “all or substantially all” of the assets at $362m.

Vital Pharmaceuticals filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protections in October after losing a $293m false advertising lawsuit against Monster. The Canarchy brand owner was VPX’s largest unsecured creditor.