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AB Inbev Snaps Up Hiball Energy Drinks

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Belgian brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev NV or AB InBev on Thursday said it is acquiring Hiball Inc., a San Francisco-based maker of organic energy drinks and carbonated juices and water. The company did not disclose the terms of the deal.

The deal will further boost AB InBev's investments in the no-alcohol sector with healthy energy drinks and sparkling waters, two of the fastest-growing beverage categories.

The deal comes as the company and its U.S. wholesaler network were looking for new opportunities in non-alcoholic beverages.

According to the firm, Hiball's two signature brands, Hiball Energy and Alta Palla, will benefit from AB InBev's brand-building experience, its amazing wholesaler network, and its operational expertise.

Hiball was founded in 2005 by Todd Berardi. The company, which now has 20 employees, makes natural, organic energy drinks aimed at consumers who want the boost of energy, with less or no sugar, and organic ingredients. Hiball's energy drinks and sparkling energy waters are made with a proprietary, organic-certified energy blend, consisting of caffeine, guarana, and ginseng.

João Castro Neves, chief executive of Anheuser-Busch, said, "Our goal is to deliver Hiball products to new markets, while preserving their culture and brand identities. Hiball's motto is ' It's all good ,' and we couldn't agree more."

Following the close of the acquisition, Berardi, his wife Alyssa Warnock, Hiball's Creative Director and Designer who designed all the branding and packaging, and Dan Craytor, VP of Business Development, will continue to lead and manage the business.

Anheuser-Busch said it plans a phased transition of the Hiball Energy and Alta Palla brands to its wholesaler partners.

by RTT Staff Writer

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