Industry News | May 26, 2007

Coca-Cola Buys Vitaminwater

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The Coca-Cola Company today announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire Energy Brands, Inc., known as glacéau, and its full range of fast-growing, enhanced water brands, including vitaminwater. The acquisition, for $4.1 billion in cash, provides The Coca-Cola Company with a strong platform to grow its active lifestyle beverages.

The transaction is expected to be accretive to The Coca-Cola Company’s earnings per share in the first full year following completion of the acquisition. “We welcome vitaminwater, the icon of active lifestyles, to Coca-Cola, the ultimate and enduring icon of refreshment,” said Neville Isdell, chairman and chief executive officer of The Coca-Cola Company. “Glacéau has built a great business with high-quality growth, as well as a strong pipeline of innovative products and brands. We envision even faster growth for glacéau as part of Coca-Cola’s enhanced range of brands for North American customers and consumers. We will manage this opportunity in a way that delivers attractive returns for our shareowners and also appropriately benefits our system,” Mr. Isdell concluded.

“This is an outstanding opportunity for both of our companies to build an expanded active lifestyle business, first in the United States and then around the world,” said Muhtar Kent, president and chief operating officer of The Coca-Cola Company. “It sharpens even further our existing focus on re-establishing sustainable growth in our home market, strengthening our system, and leveraging acquisition opportunities to gain speed and capabilities in key categories. We’re committed to winning by reigniting growth in our core business of sparkling beverages while becoming the fastest-growing still beverage company in North America. I am confident we have the strategy, focus and leadership team in North America to deliver on that promise.

“Glacéau and its brands also provide us with highly attractive longer-term international opportunities,” Mr. Kent added. “We look forward to discussing with glacéau’s distributors and our bottling partners the best operating model for glacéau’s routes-to-market.”

The Company said that the acquisition of glacéau will expand the Company’s ability to meet consumers’ needs further across the entire spectrum of sparkling and still beverages. With its vitaminwater, smartwater, fruitwater and vitaminenergy brands, glacéau is uniquely positioned in key market categories, with a leading position in enhanced water and attractive brands in water and energy drinks. These categories are expected to make up a large portion of the beverage industry’s volume and gross profit growth in North America through 2010.

“It’s a perfect match connecting the hottest active lifestyle brand with the full resources of the world’s best beverage company,” said J. Darius Bikoff, glacéau founder and chief executive officer. “To best understand today’s announcement, you really need to go out, buy a bottle of vitaminwater and try it for yourself to see how well it works.”

Glacéau will operate as a separate business unit within Coca-Cola North America (CCNA). This structure will allow glacéau to continue to win in the marketplace by maximizing its focus, speed, sales and execution capabilities, while leveraging the scale of CCNA’s resources in supply chain, marketing and consumer insights, large customer management and foodservice.

The Company noted that glacéau’s top three executives (J. Darius Bikoff, Mike Repole, and Mike Venuti) intend to lead the business for a minimum of three years, and that other key managers will remain in the business.

“Glacéau has a great and talented management team, whose brand building and creativity will complement and strengthen our business in North America,” said Sandy Douglas, president and chief operating officer of Coca-Cola North America. “Operating as a separate business unit within Coca-Cola North America, glacéau will continue to focus its passion and marketing experience to create excitement with consumers and customers.

“We are excited that The Coca-Cola Company sees the explosive potential in our brands, and recognizes our people are the driving force behind the success of glacéau,” said Mike Repole, president of glacéau.

The transaction, which is expected to close in the summer of 2007, is subject to customary regulatory review. The boards of both companies have approved the transaction.