Acquisition Continues Company's Strategy to Expand Into Natural, Healthy Good-For-You Products
AZUSA, Calif., Nov 21, 2006 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX News Network/ -- PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP)
announced today its agreement to acquire Azusa, California-based Naked Juice
Company, a leader in the fast-growing super premium juice category, from North
Castle Partners, a private equity firm. Terms of the agreement, which is
subject to government approval, were not disclosed.
The acquisition signals PepsiCo's continued portfolio transformation to
growth platforms that address growing consumer health and wellness needs --
such as its North American acquisitions of IZZE Beverages and Stacy's Pita
Chips earlier this year. Brands and products like these -- which are
identified with PepsiCo's Smart Spot logo and number about 250 -- have been
growing at two and a half times the rate of the rest of the portfolio.
With sales of more than $150 million, Naked Juice Company has a loyal and
rapidly growing consumer base, which it reaches primarily through grassroots
marketing and sales efforts. Its products include more than 25 all natural,
100 percent chilled juices and juice smoothies made from the best bare-naked
fruits, with no added sugars or preservatives. Naked Juice is sold in
supermarkets, club stores, health food stores and other specialty stores
PepsiCo will continue Naked Juice's successful marketing and innovation
approach, while broadening its reach. With access to PepsiCo's sales and
distribution capabilities, Naked Juice can better meet the increasing consumer
demand for healthy grab-and-go beverages and healthy snack alternatives.
Naked Juice will continue to operate in California.
"We're delighted to add Naked Juice to our portfolio, as it strategically
fits our stated plans for growth," said Greg Shearson, president of Tropicana
Products North America, a unit of PepsiCo. "The company's products are
consistent with PepsiCo's overall health and wellness focus and will help
accelerate our efforts in providing great tasting fruit and vegetable servings
to North American consumers."
In fact, nearly all 25 Naked Juice beverages would qualify for the PepsiCo
Smart Spot designation, which was created to help consumers identify PepsiCo
products that contribute to a healthier lifestyle.
"Naked Juice's consumers and customers are passionate about this brand.
We value that level of loyalty and look forward to building on it to help
Naked Juice continue to grow," said Shearson.
Founded in 1983, Naked Juice was first distributed out of a backpack
"beach towel-to-beach towel" on Santa Monica Beach and today has grown to
produce and ship 6 million bottles every month, nationwide.
"We're excited Naked Juice will be joining PepsiCo, a quality organization
with world-class marketing and sales teams that will catapult us to the next
level," said Monty Sharma, chief executive officer of Naked Juice Company.
"Becoming part of PepsiCo will allow us to expand our distribution and
continue to demonstrate our commitment to bring the best all-natural juice and
juice smoothies to more consumers. I'm looking forward to PepsiCo growing
this business, and to extending the availability and awareness of Naked
Juice's exceptional line up of beverages."
"We are proud of the tremendous success the Naked Juice Company has
achieved through our partnership with CEO Monty Sharma and the Naked Juice
management team," said Lou Marinaccio, a managing director of North Castle
Partners. "PepsiCo is a global organization dedicated to health and wellness.
That dedication, coupled with extraordinary marketing and sales capabilities,
positions Naked Juice beautifully to continue its success in achieving the
next stage of growth."
The Naked Juice line is divided into functional families, with each family
providing a different group of benefits. These families include: Superfoods,
Antioxidants, Proteins, Well Being, Energy and Just Juice. They are available
in 10 oz., 15.2 oz., 32 oz., 64 oz. and 128 oz. The Naked Juice product
line-up may vary depending on the store and the location.
PepsiCo is one of the world's largest food and beverage companies with
annual revenues of more than $32 billion. Its principal businesses include
Frito-Lay snacks, Pepsi-Cola beverages, Gatorade sports drinks, Tropicana
juices and Quaker foods. Its portfolio includes 17 brands that generate
$1 billion or more each in annual retail sales. For more information, visit
About The Naked Juice Company
Naked(R) Juice, a leader in the super-premium juice category, was founded
and first marketed beach towel-to-beach towel on the beaches of Santa Monica,
Calif. in 1983. The Naked Juice line of all-natural 100 percent juices, fruit
juice smoothies and protein smoothies are made from the best bare-naked fruits
and nutrition boosts with no added sugar or preservatives. The pure,
nutritional product line is sold in supermarkets, club stores, health food
stores and other specialty stores nationwide. For more information, visit
About North Castle Partners
Greenwich, CT-based North Castle Partners is a leading private equity firm
focused exclusively on investments in consumer-driven product and service
businesses that benefit from "Healthy Living and Aging" trends. For more
information, visit http://www.northcastlepartners.com .