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    A-B Gets Energized With Hansen

    The companies ink deal under which Hansen's Monster, Lost and Rumba energy drinks will be distributed by A-B wholesalers in select markets.

    Under a new agreement, select Anheuser-Busch Inc. wholesalers will become distributors of Hansen Natural Corporation's Monster Energy and Lost Energy drinks, Rumba energy juice drinks, as well as an additional Hansen energy brand to be designated.

    Monster, Lost and Rumba are currently distributed by Corona, Calif-based Hansen in the United States through a network of beer and liquor distributors and soft drink bottlers. Hansen will now transition distribution of the beverages, as well as the additional energy brand, to select Anheuser-Busch wholesalers in markets to be designated by Hansen. The transition process is expected to begin in the near future and will continue over the next year, according to a press release from the companies.

    "Anheuser-Busch has a first-class distribution system that will enable Hansen to expand availability and improve the presence of our products across all channels, particularly in areas where our brands have historically been under represented," said Rodney C. Sacks, Hansen chairman and chief executive officer. "We look forward to working together to build on the success of our Monster, Lost and Rumba energy brands and we intend to continue to evaluate additional opportunities with Anheuser-Busch."

    These agreements will broaden St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch's participation in the fast-growing and profitable energy drink category and will bring popular energy drink brands into the portfolios of Anheuser-Busch wholesalers, further strengthening their businesses. In return, the agreements will result in Hansen energy drinks reaching more consumers through Anheuser-Busch's strong network of independent wholesalers.

    "We pride ourselves on innovation and will not limit ourselves to malt beverages in offering exciting new products for our wholesalers and consumers," said Anheuser-Busch Inc. President August A. Busch IV. "We recognized the potential of this category when we launched our own energy drink, 180, in 2001. These agreements bring value to Anheuser-Busch, Hansen, our wholesalers and our retailers. They allow us to expand our business in this thriving category through our world-class network of wholesalers."

    The terms of the deal were not disclosed. Launched in April 2002, Monster Energy is the leading 16-ounce energy drink in the United States, according to ACNielsen figures for the 13 weeks ending April 1, 2006. Overall, ACNielsen figures also show energy drink category sales are up 70 percent over the comparable period last year. In the United States, Monster Energy is the No. 2 brand overall with a 19.4 percent share and Lost Energy is the No. 8 brand. Rumba energy juice is a new Hansen product.

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