Mason Wells has acquired King Juice Company, a maker of beverages and owner of the Calypso beverage brand. The sellers were the Kezman and Purpero families. No financial terms were disclosed for the deal that was done in partnership with Jeff Outlaw, president of Calypso and other members of management.
MILWAUKEE (August 1, 2017) – King Juice Company, Inc. (“King Juice”), the owner of the Calypso beverage brand and a leading co-manufacturer of non-carbonated beverages announced today an investment from private equity firm Mason Wells. Mason Wells, along with Calypso President Jeff Outlaw, and other members of the management team, acquired the company from the Kezman and Purpero families. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
The company’s Calypso brand of flavored lemonades is a leader within the shelf stable lemonade category. The Company has also developed leading edge beverage manufacturing capabilities for both the Calypso product line and select co-manufacturing customers. Calypso brand Lemonades, Limeades and Teamonades® are sold through a robust distribution network serving retailers nationally. The Calypso brand products are also distributed internationally in 20 countries.
“We are looking forward to driving growth of the Calypso brand and enhancing its already leading position within the flavored lemonade category,” said Jeff Outlaw, President of Calypso Brands. “Our ability to innovate, manufacture, and distribute our products on a national and international scale provides a strong platform for growth. We are thrilled to be partnering with Mason Wells to help us in this journey given their strong financial backing and other resources that will fuel our ability to increase the strength of our retail relationships and distribution networks through enhanced brand partnering.”
“King Juice possesses a unique combination of sophisticated manufacturing capability, a longstanding brand in the growing lemonade category and a national distribution network. We are proud of the beverage platform we have built at King Juice and we are excited about the opportunity to partner with Mason Wells to continue the growth of the Company,” said CEO Tim Kezman, on behalf of the ownership group which includes the Kezman and Purpero families. Mr. Kezman will remain with the company through a transitional period as a consultant. Mr. Kezman added, “Mason Wells will provide additional resources to support the company’s long-term growth initiatives for both the Calypso brand and the co-manufacturing business. This is an exciting day for our employees, customers and suppliers.”
“We are extremely impressed with the workforce at King Juice, the industry leading manufacturing capabilities, and the company’s market position in lemonade through the Calypso line of flavored lemonades,” said Ben Holbrook, Managing Director at Mason Wells. These key factors along with the relationships that King Juice has forged with its customers and suppliers have enabled the business to achieve a high level of success over the past 30 years. We are delighted that Jeff Outlaw will continue to lead the Calypso brand along with the strong sales and marketing team. We look forward to supporting and growing the team as they expand the Company’s retail relationships and distribution network.”
About King Juice
King Juice is a manufacturer and marketer of the Calypso brand of lemonade drinks and a leading co-manufacturer of non-alcoholic beverages. Calypso, the originator of the Flavored Lemonade category, has evolved from four Lemonade blends into twenty unique Lemonade, Limeade and Teamonade® combinations over the past nineteen years. Each Calypso is made with real fruit, real sugar and real fruit bits and is served in high-quality custom glass bottles. Unique “Taste of the Islands” flavor combinations and ingredient quality have been Calypso’s key to success, and the brand has been able to grow rapidly. Calypso is distributed domestically as well as internationally in 20 countries. The company is head- quartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. For more information, please visit the Calypso website at www.drinkcalypso.com.
About Mason Wells
Mason Wells is a leading Midwest-based private equity firm with approximately $1.0 billion in assets under management across its current private equity funds. Mason Wells is currently investing out of Mason Wells Buyout Fund IV, a $615 million fund. Since Mason Wells was formed in 1998, its buyout funds have invested in four specific industry sectors: Consumer Packaged Goods, Outsourced Business Services, Engineered Products & Services, and Packaging Materials & Converting. For more information related to Mason Wells, please visit the firm’s website at www.masonwells.com.