North Castle Partners, a Greenwich-based investment firm specializing in the healthy living & aging sector, today announced that it has acquired Orchid Island Juice Company of Fort Pierce, FL, furthering North Castle's position as the leader in premium healthy beverages.

"Orchid Island has shown tremendous growth and will greatly complement our existing brands and further enhance our leading position in the fresh juice category," said Ellen Marram, a General Partner at North Castle Partners who is also chairman of North Castle's healthy beverage businesses. "We look forward to working with the Orchid Island management team to leverage the strengths of its brands, its unmatched product quality and superior customer service to achieve even greater consumer acceptance."

North Castle has targeted the $14 billion premium healthy beverage industry for investment, particularly premium refrigerated juices, juice blends, smoothies and juice-based beverages. Its first acquisition as part of the firm's national strategy to create a coast-to-coast branded premium refrigerated juice company was M.H. Zeigler and Sons, Inc., the leader in refrigerated premium apple cider, in June, 2000. Saratoga Beverage Group, Inc., a leading premium water brand, and citrus juice and smoothie manufacturer was acquired in June. North Castle has also purchased California Day-Fresh Foods/Naked Juice, Inc., and Wiman Beverage Company, Inc., both based in California, as part of its strategy of building the nation's leading branded premium healthy beverage company with manufacturing and distribution operations in key areas across the country.

According to Ms. Marram, North Castle will be able to achieve significant strategic benefits by capitalizing upon improvements in the combined companies' distribution, manufacturing, and procurement areas.

Orchid Island will continue to operate under the leadership of the current management team with John Martinelli, who has been with Orchid for 10 years serving as President of Orchid Island. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

About North Castle Partners

North Castle Partners, is a private equity firm with offices in Greenwich, CT and San Francisco, CA. The firm has made 29 investments in companies that provide products and services promoting healthy living and aging. North Castle has made significant investments in specific growth sectors: Vitamins, Minerals and Supplements; Day Spas; Sports Nutrition; Healthy Beverages; Global Leisure Travel; and Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

About Orchid Island

Established in 1990, Fort Pierce, Florida-based Orchid Island was founded by husband and wife team Marygrace and Robert Sexton. Orchid Island sells and distributes to over 3,000 customer locations, including supermarkets, specialty retailers, natural food stores and convenience stores. The company's premium beverage line includes: orange, grapefruit, lemon, lime, tangerine (in season), pink and white lemonade, and four juice blends under the brand names Natalie's and Lucy's Legacy.