Published: Thu, August 16, 2018
Sport | By

Kobe Bryant's $6M investment in sports drink now worth $200M

Kobe Bryant's $6M investment in sports drink now worth $200M

Coca-Cola will take a minority stake in BodyArmor that could later be increased and grant the smaller company access to the Coca-Cola bottling system.

The deal established Coca-Cola as BodyArmor's second-largest shareholder behind company founder Mike Repole. Coke has also been rattled by falling demand for its trademark fizzy drinks.

Coke last month posted sales and profit that beat analysts' estimates, with a rebranding of Diet Coke and a boost for Coca-Cola Zero Sugar lifting results. The move is seen as a bid by Coca-Cola to challenge Pepsi's stranglehold on the sports drink market.

BodyArmor is reportedly expected to make $400 million in revenue in 2018, with an overall value that could reach upwards of $2 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal's Jennifer Maloney and Cara Lombardo.

Herzog also wrote that BodyArmor has notified KDP of its intention to terminate their existing contract, but no further details on timing or procedure for the transition to Coke have been given. "This is thanks to the strength and scale of Coca-Cola's newly refranchised and energized bottling system in North America, as well as longer-term opportunities for global growth".

Neither Keurig Dr Pepper nor BodyArmor responded to Reuters' requests for comment.

Coca-Cola, however, has historically stayed away from full-blown acquisitions, settling instead for acquiring partial stakes in companies - a strategy that allows it to test-drive potentially risky bets.

Brand expansion has been fueled by new lines - such as BodyArmor SportWater and the low-calorie Body Armor Lyte - and partnerships with high profile athletes like National Basketball Association star James Harden and baseball's Mike Trout.

As part of the deal, Coca-Cola will distribute BodyArmor (whose 3rd-largest investor is Kobe Bryant) and eventually have an option to buy the whole company outright.

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