Coca Cola sells ZICO back to original founder

When news leaked last October that beverage giant The Coca-Cola Company was looking to discontinue its ZICO Coconut Water brand as part of a broader culling of its portfolio, private-equity investor Mark Rampolla couldn’t wait to pick up the phone.

Rampolla started Zico a decade later above the garage of his New Jersey home. At the time, the market in the U.S. hadn’t really taken hold and was populated by smaller offerings from companies such as Goya and premium waters being imported from Brazil. Five years later, Rampolla sold a minority stake in Zico to Coca-Cola for $15 million before the beverage giant acquired the rest in 2013.

Zico will be added to the portfolio of PowerPlant Ventures, an equity fund Rampolla co-founded in 2015 that has invested in companies including Beyond Meat, Apeel Sciences and Just. PowerPlant, which is only acquiring the Zico brand name from Coca-Cola, will spend the first year reviewing the business, reestablishing relationships with suppliers and building up production.

Petco beats IPO share price

Pet retailer Petco Health and Wellness Company Inc. said on Wednesday it sold shares in its initial public offering at $18 apiece, above its target range, to raise about $864 million.

Petco, which is owned by the CPP Investments and private equity firm CVC Capital Partners, had aimed to sell 48 million shares at a target range of $14 to $17 per share.

Founded in 1965 as a mail-order veterinary supplies business, Petco first went public in 1994. In 2000, the PE firms TPG and Leonard Green & Partners acquired Petco, taking it private in a $600 million deal. Petco went public for a second time in 2002. Four years later, in 2006, TPG and Green bought Petco for a second time, again taking it private in a $1.7 billion deal. In early 2016, TPG and Green sold Petco to CVC and CPPIB for $4.6 billion.

Staples tries one more time to acquire Office Depot

Staples has put a $2.1 billion takeover offer on the table for Office Depot. Staples has announced that by March it would make an all-cash tender offer for all ODP common shares outstanding “in the event we cannot reach a negotiated agreement with ODP.”

In September 2017 the New York retail- and consumer-focused private-equity firm Sycamore Partners LLP acquired Staples for about $6.9 billion.

Staples in 2016 had tried to buy Office Depot, but the $6.3 billion acquisition was called off because of antitrust concern. The two companies also agreed to merge in 1996, but the deal was put to rest as a government lawsuit argued the move would have meant higher prices for office supplies.