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Vita Coco sells 25 percent stake to Reignwood Group for $665 million

Coconut water brand extends reach into China

July 14, 2014
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New York-based All Market Inc., doing business as Vita Coco, announced that it has sold 25 percent of the company to Reignwood Group, the Beijing-based parent company of Red Bull China, at an enterprise valuation of approximately $665 million. As a result, Vita Coco coconut waters will be distributed in the Chinese market for the first time due to a new, exclusive distribution agreement with Red Bull China. The alliance with Red Bull China will offer Vita Coco countrywide availability via Red Bull China’s existing distribution and retail network, allowing the coconut water brand to reach approximately 1.3 billion consumers in an already established coconut water market.

“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,” said Vita Coco Chief Executive Officer Michael Kirban. “We expect China to follow suit. Outside the U.S., Vita Coco sales are growing as much as 300 percent in certain markets. Vita Coco is quickly becoming a globally recognized brand, and we’re thrilled with the new alliance.”

Currently, the Vita Coco brand is sold throughout the United States, in many European countries and in Japan, the company says.

“We immediately recognized the potential for the Vita Coco brand in China,” said Chanchai Ruayrungruang, chairman and founder of Reignwood Group, in a statement. “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.”

Prior to this transaction, Vita Coco’s ownership was divided between majority shareholders Kirban, Ira Liran and Belgian investment firm Verlinvest, with approximately 10 percent owned by celebrity investors and another approximately 10 percent owned by employees and other smaller investors. After the transaction, Co-founders Kirban and Liran, as well as Verlinvest, remain majority shareholders of Vita Coco.

Last year, Vita Coco experienced triple-digit growth, reaching an estimated $250 million in revenue worldwide, according to Co-founders Kirban and Liran. The executives also told Beverage Industry that Vita Coco maintains approximately 69 percent share of the premium coconut water market, citing data from New York-based Nielsen.

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