Keurig Dr Pepper (KDP) has invested US$863m for a 30% stake in US energy-drink and recovery-beverage maker Nutrabolt.
The “strategic partnership” also includes a long-term sales and distribution agreement for Nutrabolt’s energy drink brand C4, KDP said in a statement today.
From next year, C4 will be sold in the “vast majority of KDP’s company-owned direct store distribution territories”.
Nutrabolt, which has a range of functional food and beverage products that also includes US sport-nutrition brand Xtend, sells into D2C platforms including Amazon, as well as into national US retailers.
The deal, due to be closed by the end of the year, has placed KDP as the second-largest investor in Nutrabolt following founder, chairman and CEO, Doss Cunningham. KDP will also have “representation” on the Nutrabolt board, the release said.
Cunningham said the partnership would “supercharge C4 Energy’s current growth trajectory by accelerating household penetration, enhancing distribution and strengthening our overall commercial capabilities”.
The partnership also leaves scope for KDP to increase its share “under various capital raising scenarios”.
KDP CEO Bob Gamgort, who was recently re-appointed to the role, said: “This partnership represents a win-win transaction between our two companies. KDP gains significant presence in the rapidly growing performance energy drink market and Nutrabolt gains access to a strategic investor with extensive sales and distribution capabilities to further accelerate its growth.
“We believe that bringing together the resources, talent and expertise of both companies will accelerate innovation and growth and drive significant value creation over time.”
KDP said taking on the distribution of C4 would have “limited impact on KDP financial results until 2024, when KDP expects the strategic partnership to become accretive to its financial results.”
In August, KDP moved to pour cold water on speculation it was in talks to buy Bang energy drinks owner Vital Pharmaceuticals, insisting, after Bloomberg reported discussions between the two companies, that it was “currently not pursuing an acquisition”.
However, the Dr Pepper owner did say it was pursuing growth “through M&A and brand/distribution partnerships”.
Two months later, a “strategic partnership” between KDP and Red Bull was announced in Mexico. KDP will have the exclusive rights to distribute Red Bull products to retailers, grocery stores, pharmacies and on-premise channels across Mexico.
The deal came five months after the company acquired non-alcoholic ready-to-drink cocktail brand Atypique.