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Monster going global with Coke

The beverage giant will distribute Hansen's No. 1 energy drink in new overseas markets.

October 07, 2008|From Bloomberg News

Coca-Cola Co. agreed to distribute Hansen Natural Corp.'s Monster -- the bestselling energy drink in the U.S. -- in Europe, Canada and some U.S. states.

Coca-Cola will expand Monster internationally and boost sales of the drink beyond the more than a quarter of the U.S. energy drink market Hansen already controls. The deal also widens Coca-Cola's lead over PepsiCo Inc. in energy drink sales.

Hansen, based in Corona, agreed to give Atlanta-based Coca-Cola and its largest bottler, Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc., rights to sell the product in six Western European countries, Canada and some U.S. markets for 20 years, the companies said Monday.

About 50% to 60% of Monster's U.S. distribution is currently handled by Anheuser-Busch Cos., according to industry newsletter Beverage Digest.

Anheuser-Busch and Coca-Cola Enterprises will each have nearly half the U.S. distribution once the shifts are completed, said an outside spokeswoman for Hansen. Anheuser-Busch will still distribute Monster to bars and restaurants in the U.S.

Dr Pepper Snapple Group, the drink maker spun off by Cadbury Schweppes earlier this year, said separately that it would lose its contract to distribute Monster. The Plano, Texas-based company handled about 16% of Hansen's U.S. distribution during the first half of this year, Hansen said.

Coca-Cola fell $1.65, or 3.1%, to $50.92. Hansen dropped $2.86, or 8.9%, to $29.10.

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