Rochester August 18, 2006 – Wet Planet Beverages, the company that first energized the beverage industry with the launch of Jolt Cola in 1985, announced today that it has secured a significant equity investment from Emigrant Capital Corporation, a private equity investment firm and a division of Emigrant Bank, the largest privately held bank in the country. Val Stalowir, an Emigrant Capital Executive Partner and former Coca-Cola executive, will join Wet Planet’s Board of Directors.
“With the explosive growth and expansion of the energy drink category, Jolt is experiencing renewed consumer demand and popularity,” said C.J. Rapp, founder of Jolt and President of Wet Planet Beverages. The Emigrant Capital investment will fund an aggressive relaunch and branding campaign for Jolt including the addition of new flavors, package sizes, and expanded sales and marketing resources to drive accelerated growth. Rapp adds, “The energy drink category which Jolt helped pioneer is far more developed and sophisticated now. Consumers are increasingly demanding new and wider varieties of beverages that satisfy their need for staying energized and Jolt plans on serving those unmet needs.”
“Jolt today has 93% consumer brand awareness and is often recognized as the original super charged beverage,” said Val Stalowir. Jolt is both an energy drink and a great tasting soda and the word “Jolt” itself has become interchangeable with the word “energy.” “The Jolt brand is unique in that it has broad consumer relevance and could play in many food categories that provide energy besides the current beverage and gum offerings,” adds Stalowir.
In January 2005, Wet Planet took steps to re-energize the brand by launching the new Jolt Battery Bottle, the first-ever re-sealable 23.5 oz. aluminum bottle via Rexam’s patented Cap Can technology. The consumer and retailer response has been extraordinary, and the company is experiencing record sales. Wet Planet Beverages has now partnered with Emigrant Capital to ensure that this new growth momentum is sustained and further enhanced. Emigrant’s Val Stalowir offers, “Emigrant’s role is to provide both the capital and strategic support needed to strengthen the sales and marketing team, and help open doors to new customers, distributors and other strategic partners.” Emigrant Capital has demonstrated its capabilities with its other beverage portfolio company, Boylan Bottling Co., which has now become the largest and fastest growing privately held gourmet soda brand in the country.
Jolt is an American original and a modest cultural icon. Everyone seems to remember their first Jolt, not unlike a first kiss or a first beer. Jolt’s founder reminds everyone, “Contemporary consumers live a more active and demanding lifestyle than any generation prior. We are working longer and playing harder, and this is a global trend. Occasional exhaustion comes as a result. Therefore, the need for exhilarating beverages is a long-term and growing trend.” The consumer appeal of Jolt is not limited to soft drinks or consumers in North America. Jolt is sold internationally, and the Jolt name has been licensed to a variety of categories including Jolt Gum, Jolt Mints, sporting equipment, apparel and accessories. Jolt beverages currently come in five great tasting varieties. To learn more about Jolt visit www.joltcola.com.
About Wet Planet Beverages
Wet Planet Beverages is a multi-brand worldwide beverage marketer. Its brands include Jolt, Napa Valley Soda, Thornwood Estates and Autumn Frost. The company is recognized as a pioneer in the New Age Beverage category. To learn more about Wet Planet Beverages visit www.wetplanet.com
About Emigrant Capital Corporation
Emigrant Capital Corporation is a private investment firm that offers middle market companies the capital and resources they need to realize their full potential. Through Emigrant’s experience as a successful deal sponsor, and the talents of its Executive Partners, it brings to its portfolio companies not only the optimal capital structure, but also a wealth of resources to help ensure success. To learn more about Emigrant Capital visit www.emigrantcapital.com.