Hold on to your butts! Green Mountain Coffee Roasters and Coca-Cola are teaming up in a big way. According to reports, the companies are going after Sodastream‘s corner of the cold fizz beverage market. Green Mountain Coffee will release the Keurig Cold sometime in the next year and Coca-Cola is all aboard. More from Forbes:
The deal, announced late Wednesday, includes a $1.25 billion equity agreement in which Coca-Cola will purchase a 10% minority equity position in Green Mountain Coffee. The soft drink giant will acquire 16,684,139 newly issued shares at $74.98 each, representing the 50-trading-day volume weighted average price as of market close. Green Mountain plans to use the funds for a share buyback and to fund product development expenses.
Green Mountain Coffee was founded in 1981 by Robert Stiller, who got his start selling E-Z Wider cigarette rolling papers in the 1970s. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters acquired Keurig, a single-cup machine manufacturer, in 2006. In 2012, the Keurig “K-Cup” patent expired, allowing competitors to produce K-Cup pods. In response, GMCR have partnered with big names like Starbucks Coffee and Dunkin’ Donuts and have plans to unveil a freshly patented “Keurig 2.0” line of products, including a proprietary pod.
It was announced this year that the company plans to change its name to Green Mountain Keurig. The decision will be left to shareholders in March.
For their part, Coca Cola has long been rumored to be getting in on the coffee game, causing some to go as far as outing Intelligentsia as a potential Coca-Cola buy-out candidate. Those unsubstantiated rumors did not come to fruition, of course. 2011 was a strange time, and 2014 is shaping up to be just as lively.