Keurig Dr Pepper (KDP) is making a $300 million equity investment in La Colombe in return for a 33% ownership stake in the company. Included in the deal is the creation of a strategic partnership that includes a long-term sales and distribution agreement, under which KDP will sell and distribute shelf-stable La Colombe RTD coffee beverages in KDP’s direct store distribution network, in addition to a long-term licensing, manufacturing, and distribution agreement in the U.S. and Canada for La Colombe branded K-Cup coffee pods.
The transition of La Colombe ready-to-drink coffee distribution to KDP will begin later this year, while the launch of La Colombe-branded K-Cup pods will start next year. Subject to regulatory approval, the equity investment is expected to close by the end of the third quarter.
An independent, super-premium coffee company, La Colombe serves consumers across multiple channels, including the retail trade, branded cafes, foodservice, and direct to consumer. The brand is the only vertically integrated ready-to-drink coffee company.
KDP is now La Colombe’s second-largest investor, behind Chairman Hamdi Ulukaya. La Colombe plans to use the proceeds to accelerate growth and pay off debt.
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“We are excited to partner with Hamdi and the La Colombe team to drive value for both companies,” states KDP Chairman and CEO Bob Gamgort. “This partnership will enable KDP to expand its reach into high-growth ready-to-drink and super-premium coffee segments and will meaningfully increase La Colombe’s availability to consumers.”
“I’m extremely excited to join forces with Bob and his team at KDP to bring La Colombe to every corner of this amazing country,” says Ulukaya. “With this partnership, we’ll be closer to fulfilling the mission of providing exceptional coffee to all.”