DOCTOR PEPPER SNAPPLE GROUP (DPS) has bought New Jersey-based healthy drinks company Bai Brands for US$1.7bn.
Bai makes various types of drinks including “enhanced” water infused with minerals and antioxidants, carbonated flavoured water, coconut water and ready-to-drink iced teas. All have only five calories, no artificial sweeteners and 1 g of sugar per serving, and are designed to be healthier for the consumer than conventional carbonated drinks like the eponymous Dr Pepper that DPS is famous for. DPS says that Bai offers a “strong platform to incubate and grow better-for-you beverages”, meeting changing consumer demands.
DPS has distributed Bai since 2013 and CEO Larry Young said that buying the company is a “natural next step”.
“In a relatively short time, Bai has carved out a leadership position in the enhanced water category and has now extended that success into other fast-growing and profitable categories. We're equally impressed with their innovation pipeline, which will continue to meet the needs of consumers seeking great tasting, low-calorie beverages with natural flavours and no artificial sweeteners,” Young added.
Bai was founded in 2009 by Ben Weiss, a beverage industry veteran. He will continue to lead Bai once it is incorporated into DPS. The deal is expected to be complete by the end of Q1 2017, after both companies’ boards approved it. DPS expects Bai to generate approximately US$425m in net sales in 2017.
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