Innocent is pleased to announce that they have agreed a deal for Coca-Cola to increase its investment in the company. Under the terms of the deal, Innocent's founders retain operational control of the business.
The deal involves Coca-Cola buying the shares of Innocent’s two original start-up investors, who want to retire. In addition, each of the founders of Innocent will relinquish a minority of their own shares, but retain the majority of them.
The founders will continue to lead the business as before, pursuing their mission of getting healthy, natural food and drinks to as many people in as many places as possible – as well as pushing hard for better social and environmental standards across the business and donating 10% of profits to charity.
The agreement is subject to approval by the competent merger control authorities. Richard Reed, co-founder of Innocent said: ‘This deal is good news for all parties - it allows our original investors to retire and realise the value they helped create, Coca-Cola gets to increase its investment in the business and we strengthen our relationship with a partner that can help our international expansion. Importantly for us, the founders, we keep the majority of our shares and will continue to run the business with full operational control.
'We have worked with Coca-Cola for over a year now and the relationship is going well. They are a great partner to support our mission of getting our natural, healthy food to as many people in as many places as possible.’
James Quincey, Coca-Cola’s Business Unit President for Northwest Europe and the Nordics, added: ‘We are excited to invest further in Innocent’s future. We have long admired their brand and their products and believe in the business’s long-term growth potential. Our relationship is working well and the founders will continue to lead the business. We will do all we can to help Innocent make its products available to more consumers in Europe.’