Reuters today reported that coconut water leader Vita Coco is exploring a sale of the company, citing “multiple sources.” Vita Coco has hired investment bank JP Morgan to advise for an upcoming sale that could value the company at up to $1 billion.
According to market research firm Euromonitor International, Vita Coco holds a 26 percent share of the $2.5 billion global coconut water market. Sold in 30 countries, Vita Coco saw a 19 percent increase in sales last year.
In response to an emailed inquiry from BevNET, Arthur Gallego, Vita Coco’s director of corporate communications, stated “the Reuters article is speculative, and Vita Coco has no further comment past that,”
Both Vita Coco and JP Morgan declined Reuters’ request for comment on the possible sale.
In 2007, private investment company Verlinvest acquired a stake in Vita Coco and in 2014, Vita Coco sold a 25 percent stake to the owner of Red Bull China. Verlinvest also has stakes in Le Blon cachaca and Oatly. It was an early Glaceau investor, which sold to Coca-Cola in 2007 for $4.1 billion.
The news comes nearly five months after Reuters first reported on a possible sale of enhanced water brand Bai. Approximately five months after the report, Dr Pepper Snapple Group announced that it would acquire Bai for $1.7 billion. Bai’s early investors included Ken Sadowsky and Rohan Oza, both of whom hold stakes in Vita Coco.