LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 27: Producer Sean Combs (R) and Actor Mark Wahlberg (L) announce a new business venture on February 27, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)
The Alkaline Water Company, maker of Alkaline88 – the famed bottled water brand loved by the likes of Beyoncé and Mark Wahlberg, announced it is acquiring AQUAhydrate, a Los Angeles-based bottled water producer backed by Sean “Diddy” Combs, Jillian Michaels, and (yes, again) Mark Wahlberg, in an all-stock transaction. The companies will work in tandem to launch a line of CBD-infused products, seeking to serve the booming market expanding around the popular cannabinoid.
Beyond CBD products, Alkaline is working on other offerings including flavored waters. The idea going forward is to create differentiated brands to target diverse demographics. The Alkaline88 line will be foucsed on families, while AQUAhydrate will target active lifestyle consumers and athletes.
“The AQUAhydrate and Alkaline88 brands align well and will support exciting innovations in flavors, sparkling and CBD products.”
As part of the deal, Alkaine Water will retain all three celebrity backers, Diddy, Michaels and Wahlberg, to endorse the company and its brands. Diddy and Wahlberg will also remain investors in The Alkaline Water Company; they have already invested more than $20 million to develop the AQUAhydrate brand.
These celebrities (and the well known brands they are endorsing) will leverage their strong social media reach to drive sales – expected to hit $65 million in fiscal 2020. Their combined followership across Facebook, Twitter and Instragram is estimated at 74 million.
Mark Wahlberg pointed out that, when Diddy and himself first got involved with AQUAhydrate, they had a vision to “build a lifestyle company focused on health and wellness.”
Looking back on this, he is now comfortable to say they’ve accomplished what they were after. “The AQUAhydrate and Alkaline88 brands align well and will support exciting innovations in flavors, sparkling and CBD products.”
Sean “Diddy” Combs, the famed rapper, producer and entrepreneur, added, “We built AQUAhydrate from the ground up by securing deals with the largest retail grocery outlets, creating innovative partnerships and evolving the brand. Today, I am confident that we are creating a powerhouse by combining AQUAhydrate with one of the largest, fastest growing alkaline water companies in the world. I look forward to this next stage of growth as we build one of the most recognizable brands for premium water.”
Celebrity Health: Strong Distribution
Beyond social media strength and celebrity backers, the expanded Alkaline Water Company will boast one of the largest distribution networks for a CBD-related brand in America.
The new products are expected to be sold via Walmart, Target, Safeway, Rite Aid, GNC Meijer, QT, Albertsons, CVS, Albertson, Kroger, Schnucks, Smart & Final, Jewel-Osco, Sprouts, Bashas’, Stater Bros. Markets, Unified Grocers, Bristol Farms, Vallarta, Superior Foods, Ingles, HEB Brookshire’s, Publix, Shaw’s, Raley’s, Food Lion, Harris Teeter, and Festival Foods. Quite the roster.
“We built AQUAhydrate from the ground up by securing deals with the largest retail grocery outlets, creating innovative partnerships and evolving the brand. Today, I am confident that we are creating a powerhouse by combining AQUAhydrate with one of the largest, fastest growing alkaline water companies in the world.”
Commenting on the acquisition, The Alkaline Water Company’s Chairman Aaron Keay noted CBD-infused health drinks will put the company “on the map within the rapidly growing market.” He added that, through education and its ambassador program, he expects to become “a strong competitor for this $22 billion category by 2021.”
“We view the acquisition of AQUAhydrate as extremely synergistic and accretive, and look forward to working closely with new director nominees Ira Tochner from leading investment firm Yucaipa who invested over $27 million in AQUAhydrate and investor Matthew Howison of Emerald Partners; as well as investors Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs and Mark Wahlberg, who have personally invested over $20 million into the development and growth of AQUAhydrate and brand ambassador Jillian Michaels. We believe that collectively, the board of directors, management teams and ambassador strength of the combined company has the opportunity to be the market leader in the premium water category and in the new platforms of products we will be rolling out under both brands,” Keay s