FCP and DRB buy Sweet Leaf Tea and Tradewinds businesses from Nestlé

Fireman Capital Partners and Dunn’s River Brands have acquired the Sweet Leaf Tea and Tradewinds businesses from Nestlé Waters North America. No financial terms were disclosed. McDermott Will & Emery LLP provided legal advice to Fireman Capital Partners on the transaction.

PRESS RELEASE

BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Fireman Capital Partners (“FCP”), a consumer-focused private equity firm, today announced that it has partnered with Dunn’s River Brands (“DRB”), which has acquired the Sweet Leaf® Tea and Tradewinds® businesses from Nestlé Waters North America (“Nestlé”). Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The purchase agreements were signed today and the transaction is expected to close before year end.

DRB is a strategic beverage platform that will support a portfolio of influential next-generation beverage companies, accelerating their growth through a shared resource model. Based in Dallas, Texas, the DRB team is comprised of highly seasoned beverage professionals with strong retail, wholesale, distribution and supplier relationships with the skills and experience needed to drive the success of DRB brands.

DRB President & CEO Kevin McClafferty will lead DRB and brings 26 years of experience in the beverage industry.

The Sweet Leaf® Tea and Tradewinds® businesses are respected legacy brands with diversified offerings in the fast-growing Ready-to-Drink Tea category. The brands will serve as the base for additional DRB acquisitions of smaller high-growth brands, which will leverage the DRB platform to attain accelerated growth and profitability. DRB’s platform structure will facilitate shared operational and administrative support functions and leverage distribution relationships, allowing DRB to continue to attract leading beverage brands and maximize long-term value creation.

Dan Fireman, Managing Partner of FCP, said, “We are excited to partner with the highly talented Dunn’s River Brands team to build a world-class beverage platform. The Sweet Leaf® Tea and Tradewinds® brands represent a terrific foundation for the DRB portfolio as consumer demand for specialty, local and functional beverage products continues to increase. I am confident that FCP and DRB’s combined consumer and beverage sector expertise will position the DRB platform for long-term growth and success.”

Chris Akelman, Principal at FCP, said, “We look forward to collaborating with Kevin and the seasoned DRB team, which brings decades of experience in the beverage space. With our combined resources and operational expertise, we will accelerate the long-term growth and profitability of the Sweet Leaf® Tea and Tradewinds® brands.”

Kevin McClafferty, President & CEO of Dunn’s River Brands, said, “The entire DRB team and I are delighted to partner with Fireman Capital Partners. FCP’s successful track record with consumer and beverage products, such as their current craft beer platform CANarchy and legacy juice brand, Evolution Fresh, make them the ideal partner for DRB as we grow the Sweet Leaf® Tea and Tradewinds® brands. With FCP’s support, we are well-positioned to attract world-class beverage brands and support the next generation of beverage companies.”

McDermott Will & Emery LLP acted as legal advisor to Fireman Capital Partners.

About Fireman Capital Partners (FCP)
Fireman Capital Partners invests in consumer-focused companies through both growth equity and buyout transactions. The private equity firm focuses on dynamic consumer businesses with revenues between 30MUSD and 150MUSD, who also have a unique vision, strong product and market share, and sound management. FCP leverages its capital, extensive network, and deep operating expertise to add substantial value. The firm is currently invested in CANarchy, Surfside Coffee Company, and Idea Paint with realized investments in Hudson Jeans, Pilla, Evolution Fresh, Serena & Lily, Newton Running and Skip Hop.

About Dunn’s River Brands
Dunn’s River Brands was founded on the concept of converging strength exemplified by its namesake found in the beautiful Jamaican landscape. Dunn’s River is led by experienced and accomplished leaders from the beverage industry and seeks to partner with founders and management in emerging branded beverage companies to provide financial, strategic and administrative support. For more information visit them at www.dunnsriverbrands.com.