LaCroix Water Mogul to Get $205 Million Windfall for Loyalty

The maker of LaCroix sparkling water is giving billionaire Chairman Nick Caporella a $205 million Christmas present in the form of a special dividend.

National Beverage Corp. said Wednesday that it’s increasing a previously announced dividend to $6 a share, twice as much as originally planned. The company cited the economic hardship brought by Covid and a desire to reward “loyal shareholders,” though most of the payout stands to go to Caporella, who owns about three-quarters of the stock.

The “heartfelt” decision to boost the special dividend came after “considerable self-examination with all that has transpired this year of 2020,” the Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based company said in a statement. “Additionally, the economic atmosphere that is affecting our country also persuaded us to increase this special dividend.”

Shares of National Beverage, founded by Caporella in 1985, soared over the past decade, fueled by millennial consumers embracing LaCroix. Though the stock cooled in 2018 and 2019, it has almost doubled this year. Caporella, who is in his 80s, has a net worth of $3.9 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

National Beverage said the special dividend is an investor “reward” for its 30-year anniversary as a public company. It will be paid on or before Feb. 2.

“We hope this Christmas spirit now upon us and the Thanksgiving celebration of recent days will help to brighten this season we have come to honor and respect,” the company said in the statement.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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