BOSTON — Private equity firm Fireman Capital Partners has partnered with Dunn’s River Brands to create a strategic beverage platform. As part of the platform, the companies have acquired the Sweet Leaf Tea and Tradewinds businesses from Nestle Waters North America. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Sweet Leaf Tea Co. was founded in 1998 and makes a variety of sweet teas, green teas, fruit teas, zero-calorie teas and lemonades. The company acquired Tradewinds Beverage Co., a maker of slow-brewed teas, in 2010. Nestle Waters North America acquired the companies in 2011.
Dunn’s River Brands said Sweet Leaf Tea and Tradewinds are expected to serve as the base for additional acquisitions of smaller high-growth brands in the fast-growing ready-to-drink tea category.
|Dan Fireman, managing partner of Fireman Capital Partners
“The Sweet Leaf Tea and Tradewinds brands represent a terrific foundation for the D.R.B. portfolio as consumer demand for specialty, local and functional beverage products continues to increase,” said Dan Fireman, managing partner of Fireman Capital Partners. “I am confident that F.C.P. and D.R.B.’s combined consumer and beverage sector expertise will position the D.R.B. platform for long-term growth and success.”
Kevin McClafferty, president and chief executive officer of Dunn’s River Brands, said the partnership with Fireman Capital Partners will allow Dunn’s River Brands to draw on the private equity firm’s successful track record with consumer and beverage products.
“Their current craft beer platform CANarchy and legacy juice brand, Evolution Fresh, make them the ideal partner for D.R.B. as we grow the Sweet Leaf Tea and Tradewinds brands,” Mr. McClafferty said. “With F.C.P.’s support, we are well-positioned to attract world-class beverage brands and support the next generation of beverage companies.”
In opting to sell Sweet Leaf Tea and Tradewinds, Nestle Waters North America signaled its continued shift in focus within its beverage platform.
|Fernando Merce, president and c.e.o. of Nestle Waters North America