Republic National Distributing Company (“RNDC“) announced that it plans to merge with Breakthru Beverage Group. According to RNDC’s President, Tom Cole, “the merger of RNDC and Breakthru will create strategic opportunities that will benefit our associates and our business partners in a rapidly changing and highly competitive marketplace. Much more than a growth opportunity, we are entering this venture to create something that is different, sustainable and transformative.” Breakthru Beverage Group President & CEO Greg Baird said, “Breakthru looks forward to joining forces with RNDC to establish an even stronger foundation of industry knowledge, talent, history and heritage. We see this as the launch pad to bring innovation to life and to usher in a new era for our business and industry.” According to RNDC, under the terms of the Letter of Intent, Tom Cole will serve as Chief Executive Officer; Bob Hendrickson as Chief Operating Officer; Danny Wirtz as Chief Growth and Strategy Officer; and Greg Baird as Chief Integration Officer. E. Lloyd Sobel’s role will be announced along with other key senior management appointments prior to the close of the transaction. The transaction is expected to close late in the second calendar quarter of 2018 subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.