Vita Coco® Coconut Water Sells 25% Stake to Red Bull China
Leading U.S. coconut water brand extends reach into China through Red Bull China’s extensive distribution network
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Vita Coco, one of the fastest-growing beverage brands globally and the U.S. leader in coconut water sales, today announced plans to bring the coconut water brand to China for the first time. The new distribution comes through an exclusive agreement with Red Bull China, which also acquired a stake in privately-held All Market Inc., the makers of Vita Coco.
“We immediately recognized the potential for the Vita Coco brand in China”
The announcement was confirmed by Vita Coco CEO Michael Kirban, who co-founded Vita Coco in 2004 with friend Ira Liran. In the decade since the two created the brand, New York-based Vita Coco has grown into a multi-million dollar beverage brand now sold throughout the U.S., many European countries and Japan.
“Vita Coco’s growth in the U.S. has been well documented, less so the brand’s exponential growth in Europe and more recently, Japan. We expect China to follow suit. Outside the U.S., Vita Coco sales are growing as much as 300% in certain markets,” says Kirban. “Vita Coco is quickly becoming a globally recognized brand and we’re thrilled with the new alliance.”
Vita Coco sold approximately 25% of the business to Reignwood Group, the parent company of Red Bull China, at an enterprise valuation of US $665,000,000. The alliance with Red Bull China will offer Vita Coco country-wide availability via Red Bull China’s existing distribution and retail network, allowing the coconut water brand to reach some 1.3 billion consumers in a country that has long appreciated the taste and functional benefits of natural coconut water.
“We immediately recognized the potential for the Vita Coco brand in China,” says Chanchai Ruayrungruang, chairman and founder of Reignwood Group. “The brand’s proposition and values are an ideal fit for Reignwood Group’s growth strategy and we are confident health-minded Chinese consumers will quickly embrace and remain loyal to the Vita Coco brand.”
Vita Coco has enjoyed extraordinary success in the past few years. After celebrities like Madonna and Matthew McConaughey invested in the brand in 2010, Vita Coco became the sales leader in the crowded U.S. coconut water category with a 60% market share.
The brand enlisted pop star Rihanna as the face of its 2011 and 2012 advertising campaigns, expanded into a dozen international markets and last year launched a new line of children’s beverages, Vita Coco Kids.
Barclays Plc is acting as financial advisor to Vita Coco. Giannuzzi Group LLP is acting as legal advisor.
About Vita Coco
Vita Coco is a leading coconut water beverage brand founded in New York and now available in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Japan. Informed consumers, pro-athletes, health & wellness experts and in-the-know celebrities have all become fans of coconut water, swearing by the Vita Coco brand for its delicious flavor, hydrating properties and replenishment benefits. Award-winning Vita Coco counts Madonna and Matthew McConaughey amongst its investors and is sold at major groceries and retailers as well as on Amazon. Vita Coco’s products include Vita Coco, Vita Coco Cafe and Vita Coco Kids. Visit www.vitacoco.com for more information.
About Red Bull China
As one of the earliest and most successful functional beverage brands, Red Bull has grown steadily ever since it entered the Chinese market in 1995. Currently, Red Bull has four manufacturing hubs in China including Beijing, Hubei, Guangzhou and Hainan and dozens of branch companies throughout the country with nearly 10,000 employees and 4 million points of sale. Red Bull’s market share of vitamin drinks in China is currently 80% with sales volume increasing by over 35% each year and reaching 16 billion RMB in 2013, equivalent to 2.6 billion USD.
About Reignwood Group
Reignwood Group, headquartered in Beijing, China, is a global Chinese enterprise and brand active in four major growth sectors including Consumer Products, Lifestyle, Industrial and Financing. With sixteen industries and over sixty subsidiaries worldwide, Reignwood Group is leading its expansion and diversification with a commitment to a green, healthy, quality of life development concept and through the promotion of business and cultural exchange between China, Asia and the West as a key driver of Reignwood’s vision and mission.