Hershey Increases Stake, Takes Controlling Interest in Mix1

With a recent $6 million investment, The Hershey Company now owns a controlling interest in mix1 Beverage Company. In its annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday, Hershey revealed that it had made the investment in January and increased its ownership interest in mix1 to approximately 69 percent. Hershey’s investment was part of $7.25 million that mix1 had raised in two rounds of funding last month.

Hershey had already owned 49 percent of  mix1, which produces a line of protein-based sports/meal replacement drinks, after paying $5.8 million for a minority stake in the company in February 2011. Hershey’s investment in mix1 was widely viewed as a play to bolster its position in the beverage industry after tiptoeing into the space with reGen, a cocoa and protein-based sports beverage.

Hershey took a major step toward consolidating its investment in mix1 in July 2011 with the hiring of Brian Murphy, an executive with Hershey’s health and wellness strategy group, as CEO. Murphy replaced John Burns, who remained the chairman of mix1’s board of directors.

mix1 referred inquiries for this story to Hershey executives, who could not immediately be reached for comment.