(Corrects stock symbol for Monster in first paragraph)
By Anjali Athavaley
NEW YORK Aug 14 Cola Co. said Thursday
that it is buying a 16.7 percent stake in Monster Beverage Corp
and will have two directors on Monster's board as the
beverage company seeks to expand into faster-growing categories
like energy drinks.
Under the agreement, Coke will make a cash payment of $2.15
billion and transfer ownership of its worldwide energy business
including NOS, Full Throttle and Burn, to Monster. Monster will
issue to 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.
The transaction is expected to close late in 2014 or early
"Our equity investment in Monster is a capital-efficient way
to bolster our participation in the fast-growing and attractive
global energy drinks category," said Coke Chief Executive
Officer Muhtar Kent.
(Reporting by Anjali Athavaley; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)