(Bloomberg) -- Coca-Cola Co. is close to buying a controlling stake in the sports-drink maker BodyArmor in a deal that values the company at about $8 billion, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
A transaction could be finalized in coming weeks, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private information.
A Coca-Cola spokesman declined to comment. A BodyArmor representative didn’t respond to a request for comment. In 2018, Coca-Cola acquired a minority stake in the company, which counts the late basketball star Kobe Bryant among its earlier investors.
Like rival PepsiCo Inc., Coca-Cola has been benefiting from consumers’ rising thirst for beverages as they return to public venues such as restaurants and stadiums.
A deal would accelerate sales in Coca-Cola’s hydration, sports and coffee segment. Case volume grew 6% in that division last quarter, in line with carbonated products but behind the 12% gain in nutrition, juice and dairy products.
Coca-Cola’s primary sports drink, Powerade, is a distant competitor to PepsiCo’s market-leading Gatorade. Even combined with BodyArmor, the Coca-Cola products would have about 23% of the sports-drink market, well behind Gatorade’s 68%, according to Euromonitor.
Coca-Cola filed a preacquisition notification to the FTC to buy a controlling stake in BodyArmor, the company said in a Feb. 24 filing. With its 2018 investment, Atlanta-based Coca-Cola became the second-largest shareholder in BodyArmor behind co-founder Mike Repole.
Coca-Cola on Wednesday reported third-quarter results that beat Wall Street expectations. The company also said that it expects higher commodity prices, increased labor costs and supply chain challenges to lead to more price increases across product lines in the coming months.
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