ATLANTA – May 1, 2007 – Solvi Brands LLC, a privately held company, announced today that it had purchased certain assets of Crunk LLC including the CRUNK!!! Energy Drink brand. CRUNK!!! Energy drink was co-created and launched in 2004 by the late beverage industry legend Sidney Frank, founder of Sidney Frank Importing Company and creator of Grey Goose vodka, and Lil’ Jon, the Grammy award winning artist and producer. Lil’ Jon remains onboard with CRUNK!!! as Chief Brand Advisor.
Solvi Brands LLC is a privately held company chaired by Sam Holdsworth, an entrepreneur with a media, publishing and entertainment background along with investment banking and private equity experience with the former Chase Capital Partners. Along with Mr. Holdsworth, the diverse investor group includes individuals with brand building experience and members of the Sidney Frank family.
Solvi Brands has hired Thomas Mahlke as president and CEO to lead the company. Mahlke is a marketing and management veteran with more than 20 years of experience working with leading branded product and service companies, such as Kimberly-Clark, IBM and Arch Chemicals. Most recently, he was instrumental in the turnaround and sale of a $1.2 billion packaged goods manufacturer and marketing company that was purchased by Mars, Inc. in 2006.
Mahlke’s first moves were to relocate the company to Roswell, Ga. and build an expanded sales and marketing team anchored by Kevin Doyle, vice president of marketing, and Jon Crecy, vice president national DSD sales. Ralph Martin, former sales executive with Naked Juice, recently joined the management team as vice president of national accounts. Additionally, in the first quarter, the company has increased its Field Sales Team by adding eight territory managers and will continue to invest in key personnel as distribution expands.
“As part of our growth strategy, we have launched CRUNK!!! Energy Drink in a new 16-ounce package along with an 8.3- and 16-ounce sugar free version,” Mahlke said. “CRUNK!!! is one of the most popular and fastest growing independent energy drinks on the market, and we will continue to look for ways to connect with our consumers and integrate into their ‘Crunk lifestyle’.”
The word “crunk” means energy and can be used to describe anything that is fun, exciting and energizing; music, people, and life can all be crunk. CRUNK!!! Energy Drink embodies this lifestyle of letting loose, feeling free and expressing oneself; ideas that resonate with today’s youth and hip-hop culture.
According to published market research reports, 24 million Americans, ages 15 to 29, connect with hip-hop music and its culture. People who identify with hip-hop cross several demographic characteristics, including race, gender, income and education level – further demonstrating the economic reach and influence of products marketed to the hip-hop consumer.
“CRUNK!!! is intrinsically tied to this large, influential consumer audience,” Mahlke said. “No other brand in the energy drink category is so uniquely positioned.”
About CRUNK!!! Energy Drink
The embodiment of energy, CRUNK!!! Energy Drink is designed to deliver mental and physical vitality while supporting the immune system. Made with real pomegranate juice and a unique combination of herbal supplements, amino acids, complex vitamins and caffeine, CRUNK!!! is the energy drink that enhances the hip-hop lifestyle.