North Castle Partners, a Greenwich-based investment firm specializing in the healthy living & aging sector, today announced that it has acquired Fantasia Fresh Juice Company of Rosemont, Illinois. The addition of Fantasia into the firm's existing portfolio of brands enhances the North Castle Beverage Group's position as the country's leading premium healthy beverage company.

Ellen Marram, a General Partner at North Castle Partners, said, "Fantasia is a strong, rapidly growing business that will greatly complement our operations on both coasts. Fantasia has the leading presence in the Midwest, a critical geographic market whose growth potential has yet to be fully tapped."

Fantasia produces, markets and distributes a product line of 100% natural, minimally processed, fruit-based beverage products including fresh squeezed juices, all natural fruit smoothies and nutritionally supplemented fruit smoothies. Fantasia is the leading fresh juice and premium smoothie brand in the Midwest, the #2 region of fruit beverage consumption in the U.S. by volume.

"We believe the fresh and refrigerated premium healthy beverage category will continue to experience rapid growth and the addition of Fantasia strengthens our national customer service capabilities," stated Ms. Marram. "We look forward to working with Fantasia's outstanding management team to build a beverage company that is well positioned for growth and profitability in this increasingly important beverage market segment."

J. Bradley Barnhorn, Chairman and CEO of Fantasia, adds: "Our great tasting juices are the perfect answer to rapidly growing consumer demand for a real healthy, nutritious beverage option. We are excited to join the North Castle family and look forward to continuing to deliver throughout the Midwestern United States and beyond the freshest, highest quality juices, smoothies and nutritional beverages available."

Mr. Barnhorn and Thomas L. Hicks, co-founders, will continue to lead the day-to-day operations of Fantasia while also joining the senior management team of the combined North Castle Beverage Group. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

North Castle has targeted the $14 billion premium healthy beverage industry for investment, particularly the fresh juice, juice blends and smoothies, and juice-based beverages segments. Fantasia is the firm's latest acquisition in the premium healthy beverage industry. Together North Castle's beverage company, including Fantasia, Naked Juice, M.H. Zeigler and Sons, Inc., Orchid Island Juice Company, Saratoga Beverage Group, Inc., and Wiman Beverage Company, Inc. is the largest fresh and refrigerated premium beverage company in the U.S.