Hoping to swarm distributors, the maker of Killer Buzz Energy drinks is actively seeking an acquisition of one or two beverage companies – and could spend upwards of $10 million to do so.
PBEV, LLC, the parent company of Killer Buzz, “has the bandwidth and funds to make one or two strategic beverage purchases that will help, when combined, all of those brands reach profitability faster while gaining synergies, strength and growth at the distributor level,” said Bill Sipper, managing partner, Cascadia Managing Brands said today in a statement. Cascadia is advising PBEV on business and investment decisions.
Launched by commercial real estate investor Stan Pate, PBEV acquired Killer Buzz in 2009 and is well-positioned and well-capitalized to make another significant acquisition, according to Jeremy Friedman, director of marketing for Killer Buzz, who noted that a $10 million deal was not out of the question.
“There’s no cap and no floor,” Friedman said. “It’s more about opportunity than the size of the investment. If an opportunity warranted a $10 million acquisition, that number is not too high.”
Friedman told BevNET that PBEV started its search about a month ago and is looking to acquire an existing brand with proof of concept and sales. He said that the search is focused on established brands with positive growth potential that would fit within the operating infrastructure and distribution network created for Killer Buzz. While current profitability and debt responsibilities are not necessarily deal-breakers, Friedman said that PBEV will not look at start-ups, new beverage concepts, and – for obvious reasons – energy drink companies.
Killer Buzz is sold mostly in convenience store and on-premise channels, and PBEV will look for brands that can thrive in those spaces, but also have long-term potential in grocery, mass market, and drug channels, Friedman said. And while PBEV has an eye on the growth of health and wellness beverages among other trends, its attention is trained on brands that are “moving in the right direction,” regardless of category.
“Ingredients, calorie count, and fat content are important, but not completely necessary to tap our client’s infrastructure as well as distributor and retailer relationships,” Sipper said.