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Alani Nu is among dwindling energy drink M&A targets

Illustration of a soda can with a quarter as the top.

Illustration: Victoria Ellis/Axios

Alani Nu Energy could be in the M&A spotlight as strategics' thirst for energy drinks remains unquenched.

Why it matters: Mature beverage giants — from soda makers to brewers — need new products to drive growth.

  • In addition to C4 Energy, Alani Nu is the only other acquisition target that makes sense for a large strategic acquirer like Keurig Dr Pepper, says Bang Energy CEO Jack Owoc.
  • This year, energy drink sales are expected to hit about $68 billion and set to grow to nearly $99 billion by 2032, based on a CAGR of 7%, according to Future Market Insights.

Catch up fast: After nixing talks with Bang Energy, Keurig Dr Pepper may seek a new acquisition candidate in the category, Axios reported.

Details: Alani Nu, which sells a line of nutritional supplements and products in addition to energy drinks. was founded by social media influencer Katy Hearn.

  • The company expanded into coffee and coffee protein drinks this year.
  • Congo Brands lists Alani Nu among the portfolio businesses on its website, though it doesn't provide many details.
  • Along with Alani Nu, Congo lists hydrating sports drink brand Prime, helmed by social media stars Logan Paul and KSI.
  • Alani Nu and Congo Brands did not respond to requests for comments.

By the numbers: The company generated about $209 million in sales and grew nearly 570%, according to BevNet, which conducted a deep dive of the energy drink space.

State of play: Industry leader Red Bull, which generated nearly $8.9 billion in turnover in 2021, is owned by Austrian billionaire Dietrich Mateschitz, who took out a $765 million dividend last year.

  • Monster, the other category leader, is publicly listed, though it was reported to be in merger talks with Corona brewer Constellation Brands this year.
  • Monster also produces brands such as Reign, Full Throttle and Nos, the latter two of which were transferred to it by Coca-Cola, which took a 16.7% stake in the energy drink group.

Yes, and: PepsiCo already owns Rockstar and recently invested $550 million in Celsius.

  • A Shoc raised a $29 million Series B round from investors including Keurig Dr Pepper, which produces and distributes the product, as well as drink brand Venom Energy.
  • Xyience was acquired by Big Red, which was bought by Keurig Dr Pepper in 2018, according to PitchBook.
  • Zoa, co-founded by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, received investment from Molson Coors Beverages.
  • Rip It is owned by La Croix maker National Beverages Corp.
  • And Ghost has partnered with and attracted an investment from beer giant AB InBev via ZX Ventures last year.

The bottom line: With so many energy brands tied up with various investors and strategics, competition for unclaimed brands will heat up — and we wonder about a rollup opportunity in the category.

  • Two other potential investment candidates include Uptime Energy and G Fuel, both fast-growth businesses not yet connected to a major strategic.
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