Energy Brands, also doing business as Glacéau, is a privately owned subsidiary of The Coca-Cola Company based in Whitestone, Queens, New York that manufactures and distributes various lines of enhanced water. Founded in May 1996 by J. Darius Bikoff with an electrolyte enhanced line of water called Smartwater, Energy Brands initially distributed its products to health food stores and independent retailers in the New York area. Adding Fruitwater and VitaminWater to its line in 1998 and 2000, respectively, the company expanded to nationwide distribution in the early 2000s.
By 2002, the Glacéau line of waters were the top selling enhanced water brand in the United States, with the company's VitaminWater being its best selling product. In 2006, the company earned US$350 million in revenues. The company then began its global expansion, launching its products in the United Kingdom and Australia in 2008, France in 2009 and Argentina in 2011.
Energy Brands is owned primarily by Bikoff, employees, and small investors. Rapper 50 Cent obtained a minority share of the company as part of an endorsement deal in the company. 30% of the equity was sold to LVMH sometime in the 2000s, which in turn sold those shares. The shares eventually were sold to India-based Tata Group in August 2006, which held the shares until May 2007 when The Coca-Cola Company purchased the company as an independent subsidiary, leaving its actual operations with its existing management including Bikoff....read more