April 5, 2010
AUSTIN, TexasSweet Leaf Tea announced the acquisition of Tradewinds Beverage Co. Tradewinds is a producer of kettle-brewed iced teas and juices.
Founded in 1993, Tradewinds is a Cincinnati-based company with all its manufacturing done in Ohio, where it will remain operational. The company has a strong presence and distribution in the Midwest that, with this new development, will be enhanced by Sweet Leaf Tea's already established distribution channels across the U.S. Tradewinds Founder Kenneth Lichtendahl will play a key role in this gradual integration of the Tradewinds brand, and all day-to-day operations will continue on as planned.
"Tradewinds is a great company with an amazing product and we are very fortunate to be able to offer them as a complement to Sweet Leaf Tea," said recently-appointed Sweet Leaf Tea CEO Dan Costello. "Acquisition of the company made sense, as we can now provide more consumers with a wider variety of quality teas to choose from, with a broader price range. We intend on making this a gradual integration of the Tradewinds brand, while taking advantage of new distribution synergies."
"When thinking about the ideal candidate that would take Tradewinds to the next level and cultivate the brand in accordance with our beliefs, Sweet Leaf Tea was a perfect fit," said Tradewinds Founder Kenneth Lichtendahl. "Sweet Leaf Tea puts out a terrific product, and with both companies' capabilities and financial resources, quality iced tea will be more accessible to consumers than ever before."
This acquisition came at an opportune time as ready-to-drink tea was the strongest performing beverage category in 2009, according to Beverage Marketing Corporation. "Sweet Leaf Tea is at a good place right now both strategically and financially," said Sweet Leaf Tea CFO Brian Goldberg. "We are in the unique position of being an emerging brand backed by strong financial partners that can afford to grow both organically and through acquisition, and know that Tradewinds will only make us stronger."
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