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Fireman Capital Sells Evolution Fresh to Starbucks

Fireman Capital Partners has sold its portfolio company Evolution Fresh Inc. to Starbucks Corp. Media reports valued the deal at around $30 million. Fireman Capital is a Boston-based, consumer-focused buyout firm. San Bernardino, Calif.-based Evolution Fresh was formed in 1993.

Fireman Capital Partners, a consumer-focused buyout and growth equity firm, today announced that its portfolio company Evolution Fresh, Inc., an innovative producer of premium fresh juices, has been acquired by Starbucks Corporation, the premier roaster and retailer of specialty coffee and the largest coffeehouse company in the world.

Based in San Bernardino, CA, Evolution Fresh was founded in 1993 by Jimmy Rosenberg, the founder of Naked Juice. Evolution Fresh produces 100% natural juices with a “tree to shelf” time of under a week using a pasteurization process known as high-pressure processing (HPP). This revolutionary method of pasteurizing juice ensures the highest levels of purity, flavor, freshness and nutrition while increasing the shelf life of the juices.

Dan Fireman, Managing Partner of Fireman Capital, said, “We invest in innovative companies that have the potential to change the fundamental nature of the consumer markets they serve. We saw that potential in May of 2010 when we first invested in Evolution Fresh, and Starbucks also recognizes that potential which led them to approach us. We are delighted that Evolution Fresh will now have the opportunity to scale its business as part of a world-class retailer.”

Fireman continued, “We are proud to have helped nurture Evolution Fresh with the capital to implement its innovative pasteurizing process, as well as through advice and counsel from our deep team of experts. Our operating partners Stacy Madison and David Lowe, who were deeply involved in growing Stacy’s Pita Chip Company prior to its sale to PepsiCo, provided strategic support to Evolution Fresh in growing its brand. Liam Patrick, a Fireman Capital Managing Director, was instrumental in discovering the opportunity and executing the transaction. We are thrilled that Evolution Fresh has found the right partner in Starbucks who can help it take its game-changing products to the next level.”

Jimmy Rosenberg, founder of Evolution Fresh, said, “We are grateful for the support of Fireman Capital, both in terms of the capital to grow the business in a key period of our development and the advice and expertise of its team. We look forward to growing the brand as part of Starbucks.”

Houlihan Lokey served as financial advisor and McDermott Will & Emery served as legal advisor to Evolution Fresh and Fireman Capital Partners.

About Fireman Capital Partners (FCP)
Fireman Capital Partners (“FCP”) is a Boston-based, consumer-focused buyout and growth equity firm which has made six investments to date. The firm was founded in 2008 by Paul Fireman (founder and former Chairman and CEO of Reebok International) who is FCP’s Chairman and his son Dan Fireman (the former CEO of Willowbend Development) who is FCP’s Managing Partner. FCP’s Partners and operating team have previously built successful consumer brands through innovative strategies and prudent management. The firm’s focus is on leveraging its deep operating expertise, broad industry relationships, and financial resources to grow distinctive businesses and create value. FCP seeks consumer-facing companies with unique products, a disruptive edge in their industry, and the potential to grow into powerful brands.

About Evolution Fresh
A leader in the natural food space, Evolution Fresh is a San Bernardino, CA-based producer and retailer of premium, all-natural juices. Using a revolutionary pasteurization process known as high pressure processing (HPP) to ensure flavor, freshness, and nutrition, Evolution Fresh provides the freshest, nutritious, and delicious premium juices available on the market today.