Crestview Partners has agreed to buy DS Waters of America. Financial terms weren’t announced. Atlanta-based DS Waters is a diversified beverage company providing bottled drinking water, brewed beverages and water filtration systems to homes and offices across the U.S. Evercore advised DS Waters while Barclays and Jefferies acted as M&A advisors to Crestview.
Atlanta, GA – July 24, 2013 – DS Waters of America, Inc. (“DS Waters”), a leading direct-to-consumer beverage services provider to over 1.4 million home and office locations across the country and with the distribution capabilities to service ~90% of the US population, announced today it has agreed to be acquired by an affiliate of Crestview Partners (“Crestview”), a New York-based private equity firm with approximately $4 billion under management. DS Waters is privately held.
“We are excited about this next step in the evolution of our company as we transition to new ownership,” said Tom Harrington, President and Chief Executive Officer of DS Waters. “Our partnership with Crestview will provide additional capital and support as we accelerate our growth, both organically and through acquisitions, and further expand our product offering. We remain committed to providing convenience, high quality products and superior customer service to our beverage customers.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Crestview will acquire DS Waters from a group of equity owners via a merger for an undisclosed sum. The transaction is expected to close within the next three months. Members of the management team will invest in the transaction alongside Crestview. DS Waters will remain headquartered in Atlanta.
Jeffrey Marcus, a Partner at Crestview Partners, said, “We have followed the progress of DS Waters since 2011 and have tremendous respect for the management team. This is an opportunity to invest in one of the true market leaders within the beverage services industry, and we look forward to supporting management in executing their growth plans. The retired CEO of DS Waters, Dillon Schickli, has partnered with us in this transaction and has advised us throughout our diligence process. We are excited that he and Jim Turner, a longtime beverage industry executive and current DS Waters shareholder and board member, will be investing alongside Crestview and joining our Board of Directors.”
Bill Eckmann, outgoing Chairman of DS Waters, said, “On behalf of the current equity ownership group, I would like to thank Tom and the entire management team for their strong leadership and expansion of the company’s business, services and capabilities over the past several years. We are confident that they will successfully build upon this foundation with Crestview.”
Evercore acted as financial advisor to DS Waters, and Proskauer Rose LLP was the company’s legal advisor.
Barclays and Jefferies LLC acted as M&A advisors to Crestview Partners, and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP was the legal advisor.
About DS Waters:
DS Waters of America, Inc. (DS Waters) is a diversified beverage company providing bottled drinking water, brewed beverages and water filtration systems to homes and offices across the U.S. Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, the company serves over one million homes, offices, restaurants, food service organizations, convenience stores, and retail locations. Our bottled water products are sold under the brand names Alhambra®, Athena®, Belmont Springs, Crystal Springs®, Deep Rock®, Hinckley Springs®,Kentwood Springs®, Mount Olympus®, Nursery® Water, Sierra Springs®, and Sparkletts®. Several of our bottled water brands have been satisfying consumers for more than 100 years. DS Waters offers brewed coffee and tea beverages under the Standard® Coffee brand, as well as office break room supplies. DS Waters provides water filtration systems, equipment and services under the Relyant® brand. DS Waters supports the communities it serves and provides safe drinking water during emergencies and natural disasters. Visit www.water.com, www.nurserywater.com, www.coffeeservice.com, and www.myutapia.com for more information.
About Crestview Partners:
Founded in 2004, Crestview Partners is a value-oriented private equity firm based in New York with approximately $4 billion of capital under management. The firm is led by former partners and leaders in the private equity business and senior management of Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. Crestview’s investment strategy is focused in the media, financial services, healthcare and energy sectors. For more information, visit www.crestview.com.