Dr Pepper Snapple Group today (Nov. 22) said it has an agreement to acquire Bai Brands LLC, marketer of antioxidant-infused beverages, for $1.7 billion in cash.
Seven-year-old Bai has a portfolio of better-for-you drinks in both the non-carbonated and carbonated beverage sectors. We recently quoted Fortune as saying sales were $120 million last year and are projected to come in at $300 million this year. It is expected to hit sales of $425 million in 2017, according to Dr Pepper, which has been distributing the brand since 2013.
"Adding it to the broad range of choices and options in our company-owned portfolio is a natural next step," said Larry Young, DPS president/CEO. "Moving forward, we will empower Bai's management team to continue the breakthrough and disruptive branding and innovation that have revolutionized their categories and work with them to put the brand in front of more consumers in more places."
Bai's product portfolio spans several high-growth beverage categories including enhanced water, carbonated flavored water, coconut water and premium ready-to-drink teas. These highly profitable categories are projected to continue to grow worldwide for the foreseeable future, Dr Pepper said. Brands include Bai, Bai Bubbles and Cocofusion.
Bai will operate within DPS' Packaged Beverages segment and continue to be led by founder Ben Weiss. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2017. The boards of both companies have approved the transaction. Bai is headquartered in Hamilton, N.J.
No word on whether Bai's "chief flavor officer" Justin Timberlake will stay on.