Quoting people familiar with the matter, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week that Coca-Cola was looking to acquire Monster Beverage Company, the fastest growing energy drinks firm in what has become the fastest growing beverage category in the United States.
However, Coca-Cola quashed rumors of a takeover, at least for now. It said in a statement: "At this time, we are not in discussions to acquire the Monster Beverage Corporation. We continue to review the best ways to maximize the value of our relationship."
Monster shares jumped 28% on Monday, following the Wall Street Journal report, before settling back around a more familiar $65 level. The company’s shares have still risen more than 40% over the past year.Coca-Cola already distributes a large portion of Monster’s beverages in the United States.
It said: “Coca-Cola has a distribution relationship with Monster in many markets, including the United States. Therefore, we are always in contact with Monster to maximize the value of our commercial arrangements.”
In a recent conference call with investors, Monster chief executive Rodney Sacks said that sales had grown by 22.1% in the 13 weeks to November 19, 2011 in all channels excluding Walmart, while the total US energy drinks market grew at 14.9% in the same period.
Meanwhile overall US beverage sales in terms of volumes have inched upward, by just 0.9% last year, according to New York City-based Beverage Marketing Corporation.