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Today’s Transactions:
Weld North Ups Stake in Juice Maker

The investment firm revisits Organic Avenue and now owns a majority stake in the portfolio company

Investment company Weld North LLC has increased its holding in New York-based juice maker Organic Avenue LLC, continuing its efforts to capitalize on the healthy-living trend.

Terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

The Greenwich, Conn. firm, which acquired a minority stake in Organic Avenue in June 2012, has now agreed to own a 70 percent controlling interest in the producer of fruit and vegetable smoothies and juices. The company's products are intended for consumers who are fasting, or attempting to lose weight.

Organic Avenue was Weld North’s first investment in the health and wellness space. The company has proven to be popular among fitness-conscious consumers—a trend being explored by private equity firms and strategic buyers alike.

Starbucks Corp., for example, expanded its retail chain in November 2011 when it purchased juice maker Evolution Fresh Inc. for $30 million, as a means of tapping into the health and wellness industry.

Once the transaction wraps up, Organic Avenue will search for a new chief executive to replace Doug Evans, who will join Weld North and advise the firm on future deals.

Weld North was founded by former Kaplan Inc. chief executive Jonathan Grayer in partnership with private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.

 

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