September 2, 2014

Castanea Partners Announces Investment in Essentia Water

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 is a private equity firm that works in partnership with founders and management teams of innovative passion brands to grow their businesses through a combination of capital investment and operating expertise. We are focused on select consumer verticals including beauty, food and beverage, multi-unit services, and enthusiast lifestyle. We typically invest between $15 to $150 million of equity in minority or majority transactions. Our team of talented operating executives offers critical expertise in key verticals and functional areas, and provides our partner companies with strategic and tactical support. Castanea has more than $1 billion in assets under management and is currently investing from a $735 million fourth fund. For more information about Castanea Partners read our story.

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