The Coca-Cola Co. is acquiring a minority stake in BodyArmor. Through the agreement, BodyArmor will have the opportunity to gain access to the Coca-Cola bottling system, enabling the brand to accelerate its growth and meet consumer demand for its line of sports performance and hydration drinks. Coca-Cola will become the second largest shareowner in BodyArmor, behind Co-founder and Chairman Mike Repole.
Coca-Cola’s initial investment is structured to create value for both companies and allow Coca-Cola to increase its ownership stake in the future under defined terms. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
The investment will be part of the Coca-Cola North America Venturing and Emerging Brands (VEB) portfolio, and the brand will continue to operate independently “with the same entrepreneurial spirit that has made it so successful under the leadership of Co-Founder and Chairman Mike Repole and his BodyArmor management team,” according to Atlanta-based Coca-Cola.
“In a fast-moving and dynamic industry, and during a time of unprecedented change at Coca-Cola, we’re challenging the status quo and bringing innovative, boundary-less thinking to our strategic relationships to ensure we are offering the products consumers want,” said Coca-Cola North America President Jim Dinkins. “BodyArmor is one of the fastest-growing beverage trademarks in America and competes in exciting categories. I have no doubt it will prove to be a strong offering to our system alongside our already powerful hydration portfolio as we accelerate our position as a total beverage company.”
“BodyArmor is revolutionizing the beverage industry by providing the hydration that more and more of today’s athletes want and need,” Repole said. “We are confident that this agreement gives us the best opportunity to significantly accelerate our mission to make BodyArmor the world’s best premium sports performance and hydration brand. 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 international growth.”
The BodyArmor trademark includes the Sports Drink, Lyte Sports Drink and SportWater lines. Created by Repole and Lance Collins, Sports Drink is available in 12 flavors.
In 2013, professional basketball player Kobe Bryant became the No. 3 shareholder in the company. Bryant will continue to be heavily involved in the brand, especially as BodyArmor expands to global markets in the future.
BodyArmor contains no artificial colors or flavors and is made with potassium and other electrolytes, vitamins and coconut water.