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Monster Beverage Corp to Buy Rival brand, Bang Energy

After a federal antitrust regulator concluded its investigation that could have blocked the proposed merger, Monster Beverage Corp. is moving forward with its $362 million acquisition of its insolvent rival Bang Energy.

According to a representative for Monster, the US Federal Trade Commission has notified Vital Pharmaceuticals Inc., the parent company of Monster and Bang, that it is granted an early termination of its merger assessment process.

The Florida bankruptcy court presiding over Bang’s Chapter 11 case must approve the sale before it can close, Monster stated in a statement earlier on Monday. It would bring an unexpected conclusion to Bang’s bankruptcy if carried out as planned.

Months after a California jury had fined Monster $293 million against the energy drink manufacturer and its founder and former CEO Jack Owoc in a dispute involving false advertising, Bang had declared bankruptcy in October of last year. The energy drink manufacturer sacked Owoc earlier this year after he openly questioned the way advisers were managing the Chapter 11 case and challenged the business over the usage of his social media accounts.

Last week, attorneys for Bang warned Judge Peter Russin that the FTC’s review procedure might scupper the deal and compel the closure of the company, perhaps costing 700 jobs.

The FTC is assessing whether the so-called failing firm defense applies to the transaction because it would be forced to liquidate if the Monster acquisition falls through, Bang claimed during a court session.

The proposed acquisition is subject to court approval of the businesses’ resolution of Monster’s false advertising claim against Bang regarding Bang’s use of the term “super creatine” on some of its products and related litigation.