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Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

PepsiCo has agreed to buy Las Vegas-based energy drink maker Rockstar for $3.85 billion.

Why it matters: This would give Pepsi a leg up on rival Coca-Cola in the growing energy drink space, and also would be Pepsi's first major acquisition since Ramon Laguarta took over as CEO in 2018.

  • Coke does have a 19% stake in Monster, but it's been a contentious relationship that included a legal fight over Coke's decision to launch its own energy drink.

The big picture: Speaking of Monster, it's long been considered a takeover or merger target, and this should only intensify that talk. Monster shares climbed nearly 7% on the Rockstar report, pushing its market cap to over $35 billion.

The bottom line: "Rockstar, which PepsiCo already distributes, is one of a handful of major energy-drink brands. The entrepreneur Russell Weiner founded the company in 2001, when Rockstar was the first energy drink to come in now-ubiquitous 16-ounce cans. The number of energy-drink offerings has since exploded and begun edging out sodas for space in store coolers," writes the Wall Street Journal.

Go deeper: Betting on the future of breakfast

Go deeper

35 mins ago - Health

Beware a Thanksgiving mirage

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Don't be surprised if COVID metrics plunge over the next few days, only to spike next week.

Why it matters: The COVID Tracking Project warns of a "double-weekend pattern" on Thanksgiving — where the usual weekend backlog of data is tacked on to a holiday.

Trump pardons Michael Flynn

President Trump with Michael Flynn in 2016. Photo: David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images

President Trump on Wednesday pardoned his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty in the Mueller investigation to lying to FBI agents about his conversations with a former Russian ambassador.

Why it matters: It is the first of multiple pardons expected in the coming weeks, as Axios scooped Tuesday night.

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