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How the co-founder of BodyArmor became a billionaire thanks to the deal with Coca-Cola

After Coca-Cola said last week that it would gain full control of sports drink maker BodyArmor by buying 85% of the shares (for $ 5.6 billion) it does not yet own, the news brought serious returns to some prominent investors. Among them are NBA star James Harden and tennis star Naomi Osaka, writes Forbes.

However, no one will win more from this deal than the man who is the co-founder, chairman and largest shareholder of BodyArmor Mike Repol.

Forbes estimates that, thanks in large part to last week’s deal, Repol now boasts a fortune worth at least $ 1.5 billion. More interestingly, this is not the first time the 52-year-old Repol has made a lucrative deal with Coca-Cola.

In the late 90’s he became the founder of the company Glaceau, which produces the popular brands Vitaminwater and Smartwater. By 2007, the company employed 600 people and had about $ 400 million in annual revenue, thanks to marketing deals with Jennifer Aniston and 50 Cent.

That same year, Repol sold Glaceau to Coca-Cola for $ 4.1 billion.

BodyArmor was founded in 2011 by Lance Collins. Today, the company boasts a staff of 400 and $ 1.4 billion in retail sales, according to a Coca-Cola statement announcing the deal. BodyArmor holds nearly 8% of the US sports drink market in 2020.

Coca-Cola made its biggest acquisition in history

The deal was expected from the beginning of the year

The company’s first big break came when Kobe Bryant paid $ 6 million for a 10% stake in BodyArmor in 2013, making it the company’s fourth-largest shareholder, according to Fox Business.

In 2015, Keurig Dr Pepper bought an 11.7% stake for $ 20 million, and a year later increased its stake to 15.5% by another $ 6 million.

In 2018, Coca-Cola bought a $ 300 million stake in the company for $ 300 million.

This deal probably brought Repol tens of millions, but it also got him into some trouble. Two years ago, Keurig’s subsidiary Dr Pepper (then called Dr Pepper Snapple Group) sued Repol and BodyArmor for the sudden transfer of distribution rights to Coca-Cola. According to the lawsuit, this is a violation of a previous agreement. In 2019, BodyArmor called the case “useless” and in the end nothing more serious was reached.

The BodyArmor full control deal is Coca-Cola’s biggest asset so far in terms of another brand. Thus, the soft drink giant will gain a larger share of the sports drink market in the United States. By comparison, PepsiCo’s competing brand Gatorade has a market share of 65% in 2020, according to Euromonitor.

The newest billionaire in the world of sports drinks

Repol will remain chairman of BodyArmor, according to a Coca-Cola press release. In 2014, Repol told Forbes: “Gatorade is the number one sports drink in 50 years, but in 10 years I want BodyArmor to be the number one sports drink in the United States. In 15 years, I want BodyArmor to be the number one sports drink in the world. “.

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