Coca-Cola acquires 40% stake in Honest Tea

by Staff
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ATLANTA — The Coca-Cola Co. has acquired 40% interest in Honest Tea, Inc., a maker of organic beverages. Financial terms of the agreement were not released.

"Honest Tea is on the forefront of the rapidly growing organic beverage business, and Seth Goldman and his management team have successfully anticipated and met consumer needs in this expanding category," said Deryck van Rensburg, president and general manager of venturing and emerging brands for Coca-Cola North America. "This transaction is a superb example of our mission in V.E.B. to seek out and invest in the best beverage entrepreneurs and the highest growth-potential beverages."

Honest Tea was started in 1998 and is beginning to expand into mainstream grocery and convenience stores. Company innovations include Honest Ade organic thirst quenchers and Honest Kids, a line of low-calorie thirst quenchers.

"This is our chance to bring organic beverages to the mainstream," said Barry Nalebuff, co-founder and chairman of Honest Tea. "Customers will get to discover that they can have it all — great taste, less calories and organic."

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