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Issue Date: Vol. 51, No. 5, May 2011, Posted On: 5/6/2011

Nestlé Waters North America To Purchase Sweet Leaf Tea Co.

Emily Jed
vending, bottled water, Nestlé Waters North America, Nestle Waters, Sweet Leaf Tea Co., Sweet Leaf, Tradewinds, juice drinks, vending beverages

Sweet Leaf-Tradewinds

STAMFORD, CT -- Nestlé Waters North America Inc. is acquiring Austin, TX-based Sweet Leaf Tea Co. following its initial investment in the ready-to-drink tea company in March 2009. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

This acquisition will expand the company's beverage portfolio of bottled water to include premium iced teas, lemonades and juice drinks.

Combined sales of the Sweet Leaf and Tradewinds brands totaled more than $53 million in 2010. The naturally sweetened Sweet Leaf Tea line is USDA-certified organic, made with pure cane sugar and premium tea leaves. Tradewinds, founded in 1993, delivers authentic, all-natural, brewed iced teas and tropical fruit juice drinks. The Austin-based Sweet Leaf team will continue managing the brands.

Nestlé Waters produces six regional spring water brands in the U.S., three international brands, and Nestlé Pure Life, its nationally distributed purified bottled water. Sales topped $4 billion in 2010.

Sweet Leaf is owned by consumer-focused firm Catterton Partners, which increased the company's annual revenue to $53 million in 2010 from less than $10 million when it first got involved in 2008, investing $18 million. Freestone Partners LLC was an earlier backer, investing in Sweet Leaf in 2006 and 2007.

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