Nestle said the sale of Sweet Leaf Tea should close this year

Nestle said the sale of Sweet Leaf Tea should close this year

Nestlé Waters North America has agreed to sell its Sweet Leaf Tea and Tradewinds RTD tea businesses. 

Nestle said late last week that it has agreed to offload the brands to Dunn's River Brands (DRB), a portfolio company of private-equity firm Fireman Capital Partners (FCP). The deal, for an undisclosed sum, is expected to close before the end of the year. 

Nestle said the move is part of its plan to focus on core business.  

"This transaction is part of our ongoing strategy to focus on strengthening our core business and drive performance through streamlined operations," said Fernando Mercé, president & CEO of Nestlé Waters North America. "We took this difficult but important step to position us to further deliver upon our healthy hydration ambitions."

Dallas-based DRB said the RTD tea acquisitions will serve as a base for further purchases of "smaller high-growth brands". 

"FCP's successful track record with consumer and beverage products, such as their current craft beer platform CANarchy and legacy juice brand, Evolution Fresh, make them the ideal partner for DRB as we grow the Sweet Leaf Tea and Tradewinds brands," said DRB president & CEO Kevin McClafferty. "With FCP's support, we are well-positioned to attract world-class beverage brands and support the next generation of beverage companies." 

Nestle acquired the brands from PE firm Catterton Partners in 2011.

The beer category in 2017 - just-drinks' Review of the Year, Part IV - FREE TO ACCESS