The producer of Chiquita Tropical juice, Mojo Organics Inc., has a new cash injection, despite a history of losses.
The Jersey City, New Jersey-based company makes Chiquita Tropical juices, which are sold in more than 800 retail outlets in 15 states. But the company isn't profitable, and it depends on one licensing agreement to make the Chiquita-branded products.
Mojo's plan to reach profitability includes getting products to more customers. The company has been working to increase distribution, and announced in March that the juices would be sold in Sunoco convenience stores in Tennessee and Georgia, and in Fresh & Easy locations (of which there are 190). Before that, Mojo signed a deal to sell the juice to Dora's, a Northeast distributor.
Mojo recently closed on a $150,000 private placement with Wyatts Rotch Equity Partners LP, bringing in much-needed cash after experiencing a $596,014 net loss for the first two quarters of this year, filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission show.
Chiquita Brands has the right to terminate the licensing agreement, which allows Mojo to use the Chiquita name, if sales volumes are too low for too long. In 2014, Mojo missed the sales volumes by 99 percent, but Chiquita did not choose to terminate the agreement.
The company's deficit, operating losses and dependence on the one licensing agreement raise substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a going concern, or without the threat of liquidation, according to Mojo's accountant Liggett Vogt & Webb PA.
The company has historically brought in money through private placements – bringing in about $1.8 million in 2014. But by the end of 2014, Mojo had accumulated more than $18 million in losses since inception.
Mojo's beverages, including fruit juice and coconut water, are organic and do not contain genetically modified organisms.
Better-for-you food and beverage products have attracted attention from dealmakers in recent years, as consumer lifestyle choices trend healthier. Some recent deals in the space include Hearthside Food Solutions' purchase of nutrition bar maker VSI, and North Castle Partners' deal for Sprout Organic Foods Inc. For more on healthy food transactions, see Snack Time.
For the previous edition of Turnaround Tuesday, see Crude Volatility Shakes up Victory Energy. To see a list of companies that are struggling, check out Mergers & Acquisitions Distressed Company Watch List.