<P>Long-Term Agreements Expand Monster Energy Distribution in Key Territories; Anheuser-Busch Agreements to Continue
CORONA, Calif., Oct. 6, 2008 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Hansen Natural Corporation (“Hansen”) (Nasdaq:HANS), The Coca-Cola Company (“TCCC”) (NYSE:KO) and Coca-Cola Enterprises, Inc. (“CCE”) (NYSE:CCE) today announced that they have completed agreements for distribution of the category-leading Monster Energy(r) drinks line in six Western European countries, Canada and selected territories in the U.S. These agreements will complement Hansen’s existing relationship with Anheuser-Busch (“AB”) and will not affect Hansen’s agreement with AB for the on-premise channel nationwide.
The agreements will take effect beginning in November 2008 in the United States and parts of Western Europe, and in early 2009 in Canada. As part of the agreement with TCCC, Hansen has the right to negotiate distribution agreements with additional Coca-Cola bottlers to service the TCCC territory not covered by CCE.
“We are pleased to be partnering with the world’s leading beverage system to expand the retail presence and penetration of our Monster Energy(r) drinks,” said Rodney Sacks, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Hansen. “We believe the relationship with The Coca-Cola Company and Coca-Cola Enterprises will enable us to build on the success of our Monster Energy(r) brand in North America and expand into fertile new international markets. In the United States, the relationship will complement our existing long-term arrangements with Anheuser-Busch distributors, which have been and we expect will continue to be very important to Hansen. We believe that the combination of these two leading distribution systems will provide us with an unrivaled distribution network in North America.”
Under the agreements, a significant portion of Monster Energy(r)’s current North American Direct Store Delivery (“DSD”) volume will be serviced by Coca-Cola bottlers, primarily CCE.
The agreements in North America include all Monster Energy(r) trademark beverages including Monster Energy(r) and Java Monster(tm) as well as the Lost(r) Energy(tm) brand.
According to A.C. Nielsen data, Monster Energy(r) is the #1 energy drink by volume in the United States.
“The Coca-Cola System has taken a multi-faceted approach to becoming one of the key players in the fast-growing energy drink category,” said Sandy Douglas, President, Coca-Cola North America. “We are pleased that our bottlers are now able to distribute this brand as part of our diverse portfolio of leading sparkling and still beverage brands in North America and Europe.”
In Western Europe, the agreement includes the distribution of Monster Energy(r) in all CCE European countries — Great Britain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Monaco.
“Monster Energy(r) drinks are strong additions to our energy portfolio, reinforcing our strategic priority of being #1 or a strong #2 in every category in which we choose to compete,” said John Brock, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Coca-Cola Enterprises. “Monster Energy(r) continues to outperform the energy category in the United States, and we look forward to bringing another proven brand to our territories in Western Europe.”
About Hansen Natural Corporation
Based in Corona, California, Hansen Natural Corporation markets and distributes Hansen’s(r) natural sodas, sparkling beverages, apple juice and juice blends, fruit juice smoothies, multi-vitamin juice drinks in aseptic packaging, iced teas, energy drinks, Junior Juice(r) juices and water beverages Energade(r) energy sports drinks, Blue Sky(r) brand beverages, Monster Energy(r) brand energy drinks, Monster Hitman(tm) energy shooters, Java Monster(tm) brand non-carbonated dairy based coffee drinks, Lost(r) Energy(tm) brand energy drinks, Joker Mad Energy(tm), Unbound(r) Energy and Ace(tm) Energy brand energy drinks and Rumba(r), Samba and Tango brand energy juices. For more information visit www.hansens.com and www.monsterenergy.com.
About The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company is the world’s largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 450 sparkling and still brands.
Along with Coca-Cola, recognized as the world’s most valuable brand, the Company’s portfolio includes 12 other billion-dollar brands, including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitamin water, Powerade, Minute Maid and Georgia Coffee. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, juices and juice drinks and ready-to-drink teas and coffees. Through the world’s largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy the Company’s beverages at a rate of 1.5 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that protect the environment, conserve resources and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. For more information about our Company, please visit our Web site at www.thecoca-colacompany.com.
About Coca-Cola Enterprises
Coca-Cola Enterprises is the world’s largest marketer, distributor, and producer of bottle and can liquid nonalcoholic refreshment. Coca-Cola Enterprises sells approximately 80 percent of The Coca-Cola Company’s bottle and can volume in North America and is the sole licensed bottler for products of The Coca-Cola Company in Belgium, continental France, Great Britain, Luxembourg, Monaco, and the Netherlands. For more information, please visit www.cokecce.com
Certain statements made in this announcement may constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Hansen’s management cautions that these statements are qualified by their terms or important factors, many of which are outside of the control of Hansen, that could cause actual results and events to differ materially from the forward-looking statements made herein, including, but not limited to, the following: actual performance of the parties under the new agreements; disruptions arising out of the transition of certain territories to new distributors; changes in consumer preferences; changes in demand due to economic conditions; activities and strategies of competitors, including the introduction of new products and competitive pricing and/or marketing of similar products; changes in the price and/or availability of raw materials; other supply issues, including the availability of products and/or suitable production facilities; product distribution and placement decisions by retailers; political, legislative or other governmental actions or events in one or more regions; and other risks detailed from time to time in Hansen’s reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Hansen assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements.