Coca-Cola buys rest of Gatorade rival BodyArmor

Coca-Cola announced Monday that is buying the remaining stake in sports drink brand BodyArmor that it does not already own.

The price tag: $5.6 billion.....making this Coke's largest buy of a single brand in the company's storied history.

Coke first acquired a 15 percent stake in BodyArmor back in 2018.

This new deal creates a fresh match-up for two long-standing rivals, since Gatorade, the No. 1 sports drinks, is owned by Pepsi.

The late Basketball great Kobe Bryant was an earlier backer in BodyArmor and helped drive its popularity -taking a financial stake in the early days of the company.

BodyArmor, popular with sports athletes has about $1.4 billion in annual sales, according to Coke.

Coca-Cola has decided to run the sports drink brand as a separate business within its North America operating unit.

The deal marks a shift in strategy for Coke, which has been shedding or shutting down other beverages over the past year, and focusing on Coca-Cola sodas.

Shares of Coke were down slightly in mid-day Monday trading.

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