Molson Coors, Chicago, and L.A. Libations, El Segundo, Calif., announced a multiyear partnership that includes a significant minority equity investment by Molson Coors in L.A. Libations as well as category-exclusive access to the company’s services. Molson Coors also will hold two seats on the L.A. Libations board.

The investment gives Molson Coors a stake in new products launched by L.A. Libations and the agreement gives Molson Coors access to brand creation and building, and consulting/insights services from L.A. Libations, with the option to purchase the brand in full. Molson Coors still will hold a financial stake in L.A. Libations’ ownership of the brands they do not purchase.

For L.A. Libations, which is championing in the emerging beverage category captain for several major U.S. retailers, the partnership provides an opportunity to invest additional resources in its ideas and capabilities. L.A. Libations specializes in identifying next-generation emerging beverages, particularly for the untapped needs of health-conscious consumers, the company says. In addition to creating and nurturing new brands, L.A. Libations also partners with brands to provide retail selling and in-store execution services.

“Developing a strong portfolio outside the traditional beer category is an important part of our long-term strategy, and this partnership with L.A. Libations enables us to pursue opportunities in this space without needing an extensive nonalcohol infrastructure,” said Pete Marino, president of emerging growth for Molson Coors, in a statement. “Their expertise in creating and nurturing brands is especially valuable at a time when much of the growth in the beverage industry is coming from brands and categories that often were nonexistent five years ago.” BI