Health-Ade secures USD 20m in equity from Coca-Cola — sources

16 July 2019

Health-Ade, the third-largest kombucha brand in the US, has secured USD 20m in equity from existing investor Coca-Cola, according to two sources familiar with the matter.


Piper Jaffray assisted the Los Angeles-based beverage company with its growth capital raise, according to the sources. The transaction took place around early May, said the first source.


The company retained the investment bank late last year to field inbound interest from potential suitors, COO Justin Trout told this news service in April.


Coca-Cola was already an investor in Health-Ade via its Venturing & Emerging Brands unit, CFO Gary Cooperman told Mergermarket in April. Other investors included CAVU Venture Partners and the private equity arm of First Beverage Group, he said.


In the April article, Trout said Health-Ade was “open” to considering both minority and majority investment opportunities this year. Its immediate goal was to grow distribution and manufacturing capabilities, he said, noting the build-out of its first East Coast production facility would reduce cross-country shipping costs.


Health-Ade’s immediate growth goal is to overtake Pepsi’s KeVita as the second-biggest kombucha brand in US marketshare, which Trout projected can be achieved within two to three years, he said in the previous report.


Other high-profile kombucha competitors include PE-backed Humm Kombucha and Brew Dr. Kombucha as well as independently owned GT’s Living Foods, which is No. 1 in US market share.


Health-Ade declined to comment. Coca-Cola and Piper Jaffray did not respond to requests for comment.


by Dayna Fields in Los Angeles