Keurig Dr Pepper says its desire for more beverage partnerships won’t result in a deal with Bang Energy parent Vital Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Last Thursday, Bloomberg reported that Keurig Dr Pepper was in talks with Vital Pharmaceuticals about acquiring the Florida-based company that created Bang Energy in 2012.
Just over 24 hours later, Keurig Dr Pepper issued a statement on “speculation regarding acquisition talks” with Vital Pharmaceuticals that did not confirm discussions between the two companies or mention a possible acquisition.
The statement reiterated that the company’s top capital allocation priority is to grow its business through mergers, acquisitions and brand/distribution partnerships.
“Therefore, we are active in evaluating many opportunities that arise, including in the energy space; however, we are not pursuing a partnership with Vital Pharmaceuticals for the Bang brand,” the statement said.
Keurig Dr Pepper went on to tout its nationwide, omnichannel selling and distribution systems and how they “drive strong in-market execution and market share growth for our brands and those of our strategic partners.”
Marketing Daily reached out to Keurig Dr Pepper to determine whether the two companies had discussions and why the statement rules out a partnership but not necessarily an acquisition, but had not heard back by deadline.
As previously reported, last fall Keurig Dr Pepper said it had the financial wherewithal to spend as much as $20 billion for mergers and acquisitions.
With energy brands like Venom and Xyience, Keurig Dr Pepper remains a minor player in the vibrant energy drinks category.
Earlier this month, PepsiCo Inc. announced a $550 million investment in energy drink marketer Celsius Holdings Inc. for an ownership stake of just under 10%.
That followed by two months the dissolution of a 2020 agreement under which PepsiCo was the exclusive U.S. distributor of Bang Energy products — a deal that had quickly deteriorated into a legal battle over PepsiCo’s performance.
Nonetheless, Vital Pharmaceuticals’ legal woes continue.
In 2020, Monster Energy Co. and Orange Bang Inc. initiated an arbitration against Vital Pharmaceuticals for alleged trademark infringement.
Four months ago, an arbitrator awarded Monster Energy and Orange Bang $175 million, plus an ongoing 5% royalty on all future sales of Bang energy drinks and other Bang-branded products, as Monster Energy CEO Rodney Sacks explained on an Aug. 4 earnings call.