Monster Beverage Shares Soar After Coke Deal Announced

(Los Angeles Times/MCT) -

Shares of energy-drink maker Monster Beverage Corp. got a jolt after Coca-Cola Co. agreed to take a minority stake in the Corona, Calif., company.

Monster shares soared $21.84, or 30.5 percent, to $93.49 Friday, a day after the deal was announced after the close of trading. The companies said Coca-Cola will take a 16.7 percent stake in Monster, as part of a $2.15 billion, all-cash deal.

Monster and privately owned Red Bull dominate the growing energy-drink market, while Coke and rival PepsiCo have struggled to break through with brands of their own.

Regulators still must approve the Coke-Monster deal. If they do, the Atlanta beverage giant will transfer its energy-drink brands — such as NOS, Full Throttle and Burn — to Monster.

Coke, meanwhile, would receive the smaller company’s non-energy brands, such as Hansen’s Natural Sodas and Hubert’s Lemonade.

Coke would also gain two seats on Monster’s board.

The transaction allows Monster to boost its international presence through Coke’s distribution system and energy brands, Monster Chief Executive Rodney Cyril Sacks said.

“Our primary objective is to end up with Monster as a fully global brand,” he said in a conference call with analysts Friday.