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Castanea Partners Announces Investment in Essentia Water

Newton, MA – September 4, 2014 – Castanea Partners announced today that it has invested in Essentia Water, LLC, a leading provider of enhanced, alkaline water.

Launched in 1998, Essentia uses a proprietary process that results in an electrolyte-enhanced water with an alkaline 9.5 pH. Essentia hydrates, restores and balances to promote optimal health. Led by founder Ken Uptain, the Company has grown rapidly in recent years, expanding distribution across North America.

"This is an exciting opportunity for us to invest in the beverage space again," said Troy Stanfield, Partner at Castanea. "The team at Essentia has done an incredible job of positioning itself as a leading brand in the market." Castanea previously owned Fuze Beverage, prior to its sale to The Coca-Cola Company. As part of the Essentia transaction, Stanfield will be joining the Essentia board of directors.

Also participating in this round of investment is First Beverage Ventures, the private equity arm of First Beverage Group, specializing in providing growth equity to emerging beverage companies. "We believe Essentia is uniquely positioned in the bottled water category with exciting growth opportunities ahead," said Tom First, Managing Partner at First Beverage Group, and founder of Nantucket Nectars.

"We were looking for more than just funding and during our discussions, it became clear that Castanea and First Beverage were the ideal partners for us," said Ken Uptain, Essentia’s Founder and Chief Executive Officer. "Castanea and First Beverage together offer unique operational experience and deep industry knowledge that will benefit Essentia as it continues to grow."

The Company plans to use proceeds from the investment to continue its rapid national expansion efforts and further invest in its infrastructure. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

About Castanea

Castanea Partners is a private equity firm founded by operating executives and private equity veterans. The firm invests between $15M to $75M of equity in companies within specifically targeted industry sectors where the firm has proven investment and operating expertise. Castanea is principally focused on investing in branded consumer products and services.

Castanea invested from its third fund, a $500 million fund that targets companies with enterprise values up to $250 million.

For more information, visit Castanea Partners or contact Marion Schouten at 617.630.2420 or mschouten@castaneapartners.com.

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