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Bravo!, Coca-Cola Enterprises Sign Exclusive Distribution Deal

Coca-Cola Enterprises and Bravo! Foods International Corp. teamed up in an exclusive 10-year distribution agreement to disperse Bravo!'s Slammers to convenience, education, vending and small independent stores nationwide.

Coca-Cola Enterprises will begin distributing Bravo!'s vitamin-fortified, flavored milks in the fourth quarter of 2005, the Atlanta-based company announced. Coca-Cola will initially carry eight SKUs, including Bravo!'s Slim Slammers, Pro-Slammers, 3 Musketeers Slammers, Starburst Slammers and Milky Way Slammers.

"Bravo! has a strong line-up of shelf-stable milk products, which we believe will be an excellent addition to our product portfolio," said John R. Alm, president and CEO of Coca-Cola Enterprises. "Our new partnership creates the opportunity to combine Bravo's unique brands with the strength of our distribution and selling system."

As part of the agreement, the North Palm Beach, Fla.-based Bravo! will also grant Coca-Cola 30 million warrants exercisable at 36 cents per share. These warrants, if exercised within three years, provide Coca-Cola the opportunity to become a minority shareholder in Bravo!, entitling it to acquire 10 percent of Bravo's total authorized shares outstanding at a purchase price of $10.8 million.

Bravo! CEO Roy Warren said, "We are honored to partner with CCE. The single serve, flavored milk industry segment has grown considerably over the last several years despite the inherent constraints of traditional chilled dairy distribution systems."

Warren continued, "This advancement allows the Slammers brand to become a serious competitor in the multi-billion dollar 'better-for-you' drink business, which is now the fastest growing segment of the beverage industry. There is no better partner to make this transition for Slammers than Coca-Cola Enterprises."

In other news, Coca-Cola is adding a new energy drink to its portfolio this fall called Von Dutch, named after the trendy fashion label known for its $150-plus blue jeans and trucker caps, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Coke will not own the new drink brand, but Coca-Cola Enterprises will distribute it, and both Coke and Coca-Cola Enterprises will get a share of the profit.

Rockstar, the company that makes Rockstar and Diet Rockstar energy drinks, will own Von Dutch Energy Drink through a licensing deal with Von Dutch. Coke and Coca-Cola Enterprises have an existing distribution deal with Rockstar.

This will be the third energy brand Coke has added this year.

"We want to be a leader in the highly profitable and growing energy category," said Steve Vande Loo, Coca-Cola Enterprises' vice president of channel and sales operations for North America. "Von Dutch complements the powerful combination of Full Throttle and Rockstar by providing consumers with another unique and differentiated choice."

Von Dutch Energy Drink will be launched in October in camouflage cans. There will be regular and sugar-free versions.
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