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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Coca-Cola to purchase 16.7 percent stake in Monster Beverage, (NASDAQ: MNST)

Coca-Cola Co. said Thursday it is making a cash payment of $2.15 billion for a 16.7 percent stake in Monster Beverage Corp as the company seeks to expand into faster-growing categories like energy drinks. Under the agreement, Coke will have two directors on Monster's board. Coke will transfer ownership of its worldwide energy business including NOS, Full Throttle and Burn, to Monster. Monster will issue Coke shares of common stock, and transfer its non-energy business, which includes Hansen's Natural Sodas and Peace Tea, to Coke. Coke will become Monster's preferred distribution partner globally, while Monster will become Coke's exclusive energy drinks partner.For Coke, the transaction represents an opportunity to increase its footprint in a faster growing category than soda. Coke said last month that its quarterly revenue in North America its biggest market was flat, partly driven by a decline in diet coke sales.In turn, Monster will gain access to Coke's extensive global distribution system. The companies will amend their current distribution agreement in the U.S. and Canada by expanding into additional territories.Coca-Cola shares rose 1.2 percent in after-hours trading, while Monster surged 22 percent.

Monster Beverage Corporation is a holding company. Shares of MNST traded higher by 0.7% or $0.5/share to $71.65. In the past year, the shares have traded as low as $51.15 and as high as $75.63. On average, 1387680 shares of MNST exchange hands on a given day and today's volume is recorded at 1898160.