Houston, Texas | March 17, 2009
Freestone Partners, LLC announced that Nestlé Waters North America, a division of Nestlé SA, has purchased a large minority interest in Sweet Leaf Tea, a Freestone Partners portfolio company. As part of the transaction, Freestones limited partners have received a substantial return of their investment in Sweet Leaf Tea while retaining a significant minority ownership stake in the company. Catterton Partners and management also hold minority ownership positions in Sweet Leaf Tea. Dan Costello, a seasoned operating executive with Nestlé, will join the management team as president. Company founder Clayton Christopher will continue with the Sweet Leaf as CEO. George Clark, Managing Director of Freestone Partners and a board member of Sweet Leaf Tea commented, The management team has done a great job of growing Sweet Leaf Tea. We are delighted to have Nestlé as a partner and to have Dan on the management team. We look forward to strong growth of the Sweet Leaf Tea brand.
About Nestlé Waters North America: Nestlé Waters North America is the leading producer of bottled water products in North America, with brands that include Perrier, Ozarka, Poland Spring, Calistoga, San Pellegrino and many others. For 32 years, the company has been dedicated to product quality, manufacturing expertise, low-cost production, employee development and environmental stewardship. www.nestle-watersna.com.
About Catterton Partners: Catterton Partners, based in Greenwich, Connecticut, is one of the largest private equity firms in the U.S. focused on the consumer industry. Currently on its sixth fund, Catterton has over $2 billion under management. A sampling of its investments includes Cheddars, Outback Steakhouse, Restoration Hardware, Breyers Yogurt Company and Sweet Leaf Tea. www.cpequity.com.
About Freestone Partners: Founded in 2001, Freestone Partners, LLC is a Houston-based private equity investment partnership focused on middle-market companies. The firms strategy is to partner with management and investors to produce attractive returns through investments in companies in basic industries with annual revenue of $10-$50 million. Freestones geographic preference for investments is the Southwest and Southeast United States. www.freestonepartners.com.