Molson Coors has announced a multiyear partnership with beverage incubator LA Libations. The deal includes a significant minority equity investment made by Molson Coors into the Californian-based beverage company, as it aims to expand into the non-alcoholic category.
With experience bringing brands such as Zico coconut water and Body Armor to market, LA Libations offers Molson Coors a stronger position in the non-alcoholic sector.
As a result of the investment, Molson Coors will gain category-exclusive access to the company’s services and will hold two seats on the LA Libations board.
The equity investment will give Molson Coors access to brand creation, brand building and insight services from LA Libations, while receiving a stake in new products created by the beverage incubator or the option to purchase new brands in full.
The two companies have worked together during the past year as LA Libations assisted Molson Coors through its expansion of its Clearly Kombucha brand, that it acquired in June last year.
Earlier this year, the brewer announced a revitalisation plan, after recording a continuous decline in its third quarter results. Within its plan, Molson Coors intends to reinvent itself as a total beverage company and said it would continue to invest more in whitespace opportunities beyond the beer category.
“Developing a strong portfolio outside the traditional beer category is an important part of our long-term strategy, and this partnership with LA Libations enables us to pursue opportunities in this space without needing an extensive non-alcohol infrastructure,” said Pete Marino, president of emerging growth for Molson Coors.
Marino added: “Their expertise in creating and nurturing brands is especially valuable at a time when much of the growth in the beverage industry is coming from brands and categories that often were non-existent five years ago.”
Danny Stepper, co-founder and CEO of LA Libations said: “We are honoured that Molson Coors has chosen LA Libations as their emerging brand partner, and we intend to jointly become a major player in the nonalcohol space.
“This strategic partnership with Molson Coors is an important step for our company, brands and partners, as it unlocks access to brand-building capital, capabilities and efficiencies towards utilization of a world-class distribution network.”
Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.
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