Monster inks deal to buy rival Bang Energy

Monster Beverage MNST has signed an asset purchase agreement worth $362 million with Vital Pharmaceuticals to buy all assets of Bang Energy. The deal also includes the latter’s beverage production facility in Phoenix, AZ. The move is expected to be accretive to MNST’s growing energy drink portfolio.

This transaction is subjected to approval from the bankruptcy court, as Bang Energy had filed for bankruptcy last October. Bang Energy will have to cease operations if the Monster transaction is not finalized, which, in turn, is likely to cost 700 jobs.

Brief Introspection of MNST

Monster Beverage’s energy drinks category has long been acting as a key growth driver. In first-quarter 2023, the Monster Energy Drinks segment’s net sales increased 11.2% year over year to $1.6 billion. On a currency-adjusted basis, net sales for the segment rose 14.6%.

Per Nielsen, sales for the energy drinks category, including energy shots, increased 12.7% year over year for the 13 weeks ended Apr 22, 2023. Sales for the company’s energy brands, including Reign, rose 10.5% in the 13 weeks ended Apr 22, 2023.

The company remains committed to product launches and innovation to boost growth. In first-quarter 2023, it launched many products and expanded distribution in the international markets. In the United States, the company launched Monster Energy Zero Sugar at retail in January and Monster Energy Ultra Strawberry Dreams, Monster (stylized) Reserve Kiwi Strawberry, Monster Energy Nitro Cosmic Peach and Java Monster Caffe Latte in the first quarter.

In March, it launched Reign Storm, a total wellness energy drink, in 12 oz sleek cans at retail in four flavors to meet the growing demand for the energy drink category. Monster Energy’s launch of its first flavored malt beverage alcohol product, The Beast Unleashed, across six states in four flavors received positive feedback. As a result, it is expanding distribution into additional markets.  

At the end of the first quarter, the company initialized the phased launch of Monster Tour Water, a pure unflavored water line, in still and sparkling variants, in the United States. In EMEA, as part of an ongoing pan-EMEA launch, the company distributed Monster Energy Lewis Hamilton 44 Zero Sugar. It also launched Fury, its affordable energy brand, in Egypt in the said quarter. The company revealed plans to transition the Monster brand to the Coca-Cola distribution system in the Philippines.

Monster Beverage continued to implement price hikes in the first quarter of 2023, with additional price hikes planned in a number of other markets through the remainder of the year. In some markets, this rise is in addition to price increases implemented in 2022. In the United States, management implemented an additional price increase on its 18.6 oz and 24 oz energy drinks, effective Apr 1, 2023.

Driven by these factors, Monster Beverage delivered impressive first-quarter 2023 results, wherein the top and bottom lines surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate and improved year over year. Adjusted earnings of 38 cents per share advanced 36.6% year over year. Net sales of $1,699 million improved 11.9% year over year in the first quarter. On a currency-adjusted basis, net sales rose 15.3%. Net sales to customers outside the United States rose 12.6% to $622.9 million, representing about 37% of the total net sales. On a currency-adjusted basis, sales to customers outside the United States improved 21.9%.

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