Coca-Cola to Expand Monster Distribution In U.S. & Canada

Coca-Cola Co. and Monster Beverage have agreed on a long-term strategic partnership that is expected to accelerate growth for both companies in the global energy drink category.

Coca-Cola will acquire approximately 16.7 percent ownership interest in Monster and will have two directors on Monster’s board of directors. Coca-Cola will transfer ownership of its worldwide energy business to Monster, which includes NOS, Full Throttle, Burn, Mother, Play and Power Play and Relentless; Monster will transfer its non-energy business to Coca-Cola, including Hansen’s Natural Sodas, Peace Tea, Hubert’s Lemonade and Hansen’s Juice Products.

Coca-Cola Co. and Monster will amend their current distribution agreement in the U.S. and Canada by expanding into additional territories and entering into long-term agreements. The Coca-Cola Co. will become Monster’s preferred distribution partner globally, and Monster will become Coca-Cola’s exclusive “energy play.”

At the transaction closing, Coca-Cola Co. will make a cash payment of $2.15 billion and transfer its worldwide energy business to Monster. In exchange, Monster will issue to Coca-Cola the shares of Monster common stock, transfer its non-energy business to Coca-Cola and enter into expanded distribution arrangements. The transaction is expected to close in late 2014 or early 2015.

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Gilbarco, Verifone To Offer Petro Tech & Digital Media Services

Gilbarco Veeder-Root, a provider of retail petroleum technology, and VeriFone Systems Inc., a provider of secure electronic payment solutions, are partnering to offer the largest at-pump interactive digital media network worldwide. The two companies will collaborate on future fuel dispenser payment platforms to be developed and supplied by VeriFone, as well as offer at-pump media advertising and entertainment.

“This is very powerful for the industry,” said Martin Gafinowitz, president of Gilbarco Veeder-Root. “Gilbarco’s expertise in the convenience vertical and Verifone’s expertise in the payment and media space represent the leading technology in interfacing with consumers in a seamless way.”

Mr. Gafinowitz added the new partnership will provide compelling solutions to meet the rapidly changing needs for secure retail payment transactions. Additionally, Outcast Media, Gilbarco’s forecourt media business, and Applause TV, Gilbarco’s gas station TV network, will be merged with VeriFone’s digital media and VeriFone Digital Network (VNET) businesses.

“As of today, we have more than 50,000 screens globally in taxis, gas pumps and c-stores, with 150 million customers per month viewing those screens,” said Dan Yienger, senior vice president of petro at VeriFone. “We’re capable of bringing relevant content and a critical scale, which will allow us to bring in additional advertising at the pump, in turn driving consumers into stores.”

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Sheetz Stands Up For Customer’s Right To Buy Beer

For Sheetz customers in five other states, filling up their tank, grabbing some dinner and taking home a six-pack of beer for later is a common occurrence. In Pennsylvania, it’s a novelty.

On July 16, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board granted a legitimate liquor license to Sheetz, and the Shippensburg store began selling beer on July 25.

“This was very exciting for us and our customers,” Sheetz said, “although that excitement proved to be short-lived.” The Civic Club of Shippensburg filed an appeal with the Court of Common Pleas on Aug. 6, which caused Sheetz to stop selling beer immediately.

“This is incredibly disappointing for us, and more importantly, our customers, who drive every decision we make. They’ve told us loud and clear that this is a convenience they want to be afforded in the state of Pennsylvania, and the fact that we can complete all of the due diligence and be granted a legitimate license, only to have somebody interject and challenge the ruling, is indicative of a broken system that needs greater reform at the state level,” said Ryan Sheetz, director of brand development.

The Shippensburg location is the second Sheetz location in the state of Pennsylvania to have obtained an approved liquor license to sell beer. The company first started selling beer at its Altoona, Pa., location on 17th Street back in 2010. The Shippensburg location has indoor seating for about 40 people and will feature an expanded menu. The beverage selection includes more than 90 different kinds of beer. Customers would be able to carry out up to two six-packs. Sheetz is optimistic the appeal will be resolved quickly.

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Latest Word in C-Store News...

Xyience Xenergy kicked off its relationship with Canada Dry New York on Aug. 1. The agreement affords the Xenergy energy drink brand greater retail availability from New York to Washington, D.C. This includes potential shelf space in grocery chains as well as independent and major convenience and drug store chains.

• The J. Polep Fall Trade Show will be held Sept. 18 at Twin River Casino from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

• The Pennsylvania Petroleum Trade Show and Convention will be held Sept. 24-26 at the Hershey Lodge in Hershey, Pa.

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