YUBA CITY, Calif., Aug. 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Sunsweet Growers Inc. today announced its acquisition of Function Drinks, a Southern California company known for its line of innovative, dietary supplement beverages. The acquisition is part of Sunsweet’s ongoing initiative to leverage its unique set of skills and resources to help emerging beverage brands break through to mainstream success.
“We’re very excited about the Function brand, the people behind it and the growth potential that we can help unlock. We also believe Function gives us a great foundation on which to begin building a great portfolio of beverages,” said Tony Gerst, Leader of New Venture Initiatives at Sunsweet.
In conjunction with the transaction, Sunsweet formed a wholly owned subsidiary named Disruptive Beverages Inc (DBI). DBI has been formed to help drive the growth of developing beverage companies with strong products and ideas in today’s increasingly competitive and capital constrained landscape. Function is the first full acquisition as part of this plan and strong interest remains in finding additional emerging brands to add to its portfolio.
“As an award winning co-packer of the highest quality beverages, Sunsweet is familiar with new, innovative beverages and the companies who introduce them,” said Dane Lance, COO of Sunsweet Growers. “For beverage ideas and companies that we truly believe in and that we believe are innovative and have a chance to challenge the “beverage quo” we’ve set up a new approach to help them on their way.”
Function co-founders Dayton Miller, Josh Simon, and Alex Hughes will continue to maintain leadership positions in the company. While Sunsweet will leverage its resources wherever synergies exist, the Function business will continue to operate on a fairly standalone basis. “We’re excited that Sunsweet has recognized the strong foundation Function has built,” said Function CEO Dayton Miller. “We look forward to tapping into Sunsweet’s vast experience to take Function to the next level,” added Function President Josh Simon.
Function Drinks was represented in the transaction by Silverwood Partners.
Established in 1917, Sunsweet Growers, a farmer-owned cooperative, is the world’s largest handler of dried tree fruits, including prunes, apricots, and mangos. Sunsweet represents more than one-third of the global prune market and processes more than 50,000 tons of prunes a year. Sunsweet also produces and bottles premier branded juices, teas and waters for global consumption. For more information please visit www.sunsweet.com.
During his surgical training at UCLA, Dr. Alex Hughes discovered that with the right technical capabilities he could incorporate powerful all natural ingredients used everyday in hospitals into drinks with extraordinary functionality. Alex partnered with his longtime friends, Dayton Miller and Josh Simon, to create a drink line representing a marriage between mainstream clinical science and great-tasting beverages. Its core products, Urban Detox, Alternative Energy, and Light Weight are sold in leading retailers nationwide. For more information please visit www.functiondrinks.com.