NEWTOWN, PA, May 7, 2008 — The Healthy Beverage Company, makers of Steaz® Sparkling Green Teas and Steaz® Energy, has received $11 million in private financing to fuel expansion of its award-winning Fair Trade™ Certified and USDA Organic products in natural and mainstream channels.
Lead investor is Inventages, a global private equity firm specializing in life sciences, nutrition, and wellness. Whitefish Group, HBC’s Canadian distributor, also is a participant. Both Inventages and Whitefish Group join Maris Acquisitions, HBC’s original investment partner, in supporting the growth of the Steaz brand globally.
“The consumer response to Steaz over the past five years has been phenomenal,” said Eric Schnell, HBC Co-Founder. “The new funding enables us to keep pace with the growing demand for our products while continuing to operate our company according to our triple bottom-line commitment to people, planet and profits.”
Adds Steven Kessler, HBC Co-Founder, “In Inventages and Whitefish Group we have found like-minded partners who believe in the Steaz brand and the potential for organic, fair trade beverages in world markets.”
Schnell and Kessler have appointed several key members to the HBC executive team.
Jim DiPietro, former Unilever vice president responsible for the PepsiCo/Lipton strategic joint venture, joins HBC as the company’s first Chief Operating Officer. Mike Sharman, a 20-year beverage industry veteran and most recently regional vice president for Glaceau/Vitamin Water, is appointed Vice President of Sales and Business Development. Linda Flagler joins HBC as Director of Finance. Previously, she was with Constar International, one of the largest suppliers of PET packaging for soft drinks and beverages in the U.S. and Europe.
“We were deeply impressed with the passion and commitment Eric, Steve and their team continually demonstrated throughout our discussions,” said Erich Sieber, Partner of Inventages. “There is no doubt they are dedicated to building Steaz into a global beverage brand. We are delighted to be partner to that vision.”
About The Healthy Beverage Company
The Healthy Beverage Company (www.steaz.com) is the maker of USDA certified organic and Fair Trade Certified™ Steaz Sparkling Green Teas and Steaz Diet Sparkling Green Teas and Steaz Energy, named Energy Drink of the Year by BevNet.com. According to SPINSscan Natural, Steaz is the best-selling organic soft drink brand in the U.S., based on total dollar sales. Steaz beverages are sold nationally in the US in retail outlets such as Whole Foods, Wild Oats, Wegmans and Shaw’s supermarkets. Additionally, Steaz is available internationally in Canada, Australia, Mexico, India, South Africa, the Netherlands and the Middle East.
About Inventages Venture Capital Investments Inc
Inventages (www.inventages.com), is one of the largest venture capital/private equity firms specializing in life sciences, with more than $1.5 billion under management. Inventages’ investment focus includes innovative food, nutrition, nutraceuticals, medical food, cosmeceuticals, pharmaceuticals, consumer relationship management processes and novel packaging technologies. Inventages is operating out of three offices around the globe, Geneva, Nassau, and Auckland.