Merger date: 1994
Cost: $1.7 billion
Following success with its Gatorade brand, Quaker Oats swallowed up beverage newbie Snapple for just shy of $2 billion in 1994. In the hopes it could make the small, formerly independent drink company compete with the big boys, Quaker soon pushed to get the fruity drink in every grocery store and chain restaurant across the U.S. Problem was, according to CNBC, this strategy went against the reasons for Snapple's initial success, which hinged on clever marketing and niche consumption. Quaker Oats offloaded the brand for just $300 million three years later, whereupon Snapple almost immediately flourished. Thanks to several references on shows like Seinfeld, Snapple enjoyed its biggest acclaim in the late '90s while Quaker Oats would find itself bought out by PepsiCo by 2001.