Update: The Coca-Cola Company is NOT in Discussions to Acquire Monster Beverage

This morning, The Wall Street Journal said that The Coca-Cola Company was in talks to acquire the Monster Beverage Company in what would be the company’s largest acquisition to date (Monster has a market cap of over $11 billion). However, at 4PM Eastern, Coke issued a statement denying that there are any acquisition talks and simply chalked it up to standard communication that the two parties have over their existing distribution relationship. Sorry folks, no deal today…

And, as a side note, shares of Monster Beverage (MNST) traded as up to as high as $83.96 a share before finally closing at $65 (down $0.53 for the day).

Here’s the full text of the release:

The Coca-Cola Company Issues Statement Regarding Media Reports Related to Monster Beverage Corporation

ATLANTA–(BUSINESS WIRE)– The Coca-Cola Company today issued the following statement regarding media reports related to Monster Beverage Corporation.
“Coca-Cola has a distribution relationship with Monster in many markets, including the United States. Therefore, we are always in contact with Monster to maximize the value of our commercial arrangements. At this time, we are not in discussions to acquire the Monster Beverage Corporation. We continue to review the best ways to maximize the value of our relationship.”
The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO – News) is the world’s largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands. Led by Coca-Cola, the world’s most valuable brand, our Company’s portfolio features 15 billion dollar brands including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply, Georgia and Del Valle. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, ready-to-drink coffees, and juices and juice drinks. Through the world’s largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy our beverages at a rate of 1.8 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that reduce our environmental footprint, support active, healthy living, create a safe, inclusive work environment for our associates, and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. Together with our bottling partners, we rank among the world’s top 10 private employers with more than 700,000 system employees. For more information, please visit www.thecoca-colacompany.com or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/CocaColaCo.