Freestone Partners, LLC announced that Nestlé Waters North America purchased the remaining 65% of the shares of Sweet Leaf Tea Company held primarily by Freestone Partners, Catterton Partners and Sweet Leaf Tea founders and management. Nestlé exercised its purchase option more than a year ahead of the expiration of the option. The transaction came on the heels of a strong period of organic growth of Sweet Leaf Tea and the acquisition by the company of Tradewinds Beverage Company in 2010. The transaction was a favorable one for Freestone limited partners who originally invested in the company in 2006.
George Clark, Managing Director of Freestone Partners and a board member of Sweet Leaf Tea commented, “We are very pleased with the outcome of this investment. Despite the challenges faced in the overall economy over the past few years, the Sweet Leaf management team did a great job of growing the company and increasing shareholder value.” Nestlé Waters North America is the leading bottler and marketer of bottled water in the U.S., with a 41% share of PET-packaged water and seven of the top ten bottled water brands, including Perrier, San Pellegrino, Ozarka, Arrowhead, Poland Spring, Deer Park, Ice Mountain, and others.