Four months after announcing a $15 million investment in Bai Brands, Dr Pepper Snapple Group is planting its flag in the premium sports drink segment. The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that DPS has put up $20 million to acquire an 11.7 percent stake in BodyArmor, indicating a $170 million valuation for the sports drink brand Mike Repole and Lance Collins (of vitaminwater and Fuze fame, respectively) launched in 2012.
Repole told the WSJ the deal “gives us strength and muscle” moving forward as BodyArmor looks to stake its claim in a space dominated by category leaders Gatorade and Powerade. BodyArmor achieved $30 million in dollar sales in 2014 and is projected to pass $50 million this year, he said.
Currently the brand is available in 25,000 stores nationwide, a number Repole expects to double in 2016 as Dr Pepper Snapple increases its distribution.
“We’ve been pleased with BodyArmor’s growth over the past two years and believe it has strong potential as a premium sports drink,” said Rodger Collins, DPS president of packaged beverages, in a company press release. “It’s already a great part of our allied brand portfolio, it has a management team with the experience and passion to succeed, and we’re looking forward to contributing to that growth and success over the long term.”
Wells Fargo Securities analyst Bonnie Herzog was bullish on the partnership in her report, pointing to the deal as the latest example in a continued trend of Big Soda investing in growth categories amidst the decline of carbonated soft drinks.
“We continue to believe that DPS’s strategy to diversify away from its core carbonated soft drink brands into faster growing categories is the right long-term strategy,” Herzog wrote. “We are encouraged by DPS’s numerous partnerships and investments in rapidly growing brands within its Allied Brands stable which includes: BodyArmor, Big Red, FIJI Water, Vita Coco, Bai Brands, Neuro beverages, SunnyD, and HYDRIVE energy drinks. We expect that DPS will continue to leverage these growing brands to help support improved volume growth and offset overall weakness in the CSD category.”
The company’s full press release can be found below:
PLANO, Texas, Aug. 12, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Inc., (NYSE: DPS) has reached an agreement to make an equity investment in BA Sports Nutrition, LLC, owner of BODYARMOR SuperDrink, a line of premium sports drinks. The $20 millioninvestment gives DPS an 11.7 percent ownership position in BA Sports Nutrition.
DPS has carried BODYARMOR as an allied brand in much of its direct store delivery network since 2013 and plans to expand the product line further in its system over the next year.
“We’ve been pleased with BODYARMOR’s growth over the past two years and believe it has strong potential as a premium sports drink,” said Rodger Collins, DPS president of packaged beverages. “It’s already a great part of our allied brand portfolio, it has a management team with the experience and passion to succeed, and we’re looking forward to contributing to that growth and success over the long term.”
BODYARMOR SuperDrink was launched in 2012 by Mike Repole and Lance Collins. In 2013, basketball superstar Kobe Bryant became a significant investor in the company. BODYARMOR is made with potassium-packed electrolytes, coconut water and vitamins and is sweetened with pure cane sugar. It contains no artificial colors and no artificial flavors and is available in seven great-tasting flavors.
“We are very excited about the investment by Dr Pepper Snapple Group,” said Repole, co-founder and chairman, BODYARMOR. “Through our partnership with DPS, we are continuing to gain distribution throughout the United States, and we are on our way to becoming a national brand. BODYARMOR has tremendous momentum, and the strength of the DPS organization and its system will continue to fuel our amazing growth for years to come.”
This partnership marks the second time DPS and Mike Repole have teamed up to grow an emerging beverage brand. Prior to launching BODYARMOR, Repole was a co-founder of vitaminwater, which experienced substantial growth in DPS’s legacy bottling and distribution system from 2000 to 2007.
BODYARMOR is one of numerous brands DPS carries in its portfolio of third party allied brands, which also includes Big Red, FIJIWater, Vita Coco, Bai Brands, Neuro beverages, SunnyD and HYDRIVE energy drinks, among others.
The terms of the BODYARMOR transaction will not have a material impact on DPS’s financial statements.
About Dr Pepper Snapple Group
Dr Pepper Snapple Group (NYSE: DPS) is a leading producer of flavored beverages in North America and the Caribbean. Our success is fueled by more than 50 brands that are synonymous with refreshment, fun and flavor. We have 6 of the top 10 non-cola soft drinks, and 13 of our 14 leading brands are No. 1 or No. 2 in their flavor categories. In addition to our flagship Dr Pepper and Snapple brands, our portfolio includes 7UP, A&W, Canada Dry, Clamato, Crush, Hawaiian Punch, Mott’s, Mr & Mrs T mixers, Peñafiel, Rose’s, Schweppes, Squirt and Sunkist soda. To learn more about our iconic brands and Plano, Texas-based company, please visitwww.DrPepperSnapple.com. For our latest news and updates, follow us at www.Facebook.com/DrPepperSnapple orwww.Twitter.com/DrPepperSnapple.
BODYARMOR SuperDrink® is a premium sports drink that provides superior hydration. It contains no artificial colors or flavors and is made with potassium-packed electrolytes and vitamins and made with coconut water. Created by co-founders Mike Repole and Lance Collins, BODYARMOR is available in seven great-tasting flavors and is the drink of choice for athletes, having assembled an impressive team of young, superstar athletes such as Andrew Luck, Mike Trout, James Harden, Richard Sherman, Buster Posey, Rob Gronkowski,Kevin Love and Skylar Diggins. In 2013, Kobe Bryant became a significant shareholder in the company. For more information please visit www.drinkbodyarmor.com and follow us at @drinkbodyarmor.com or www.facebook.com/drinkbodyarmor