News | July 6, 2000

North Castle Buys California Day-Fresh and Wiman Beverage

North Castle Partners, a Greenwich, CT-based investment firm specializing in the healthy living & aging sector, has announced the purchase of California Day-Fresh Foods, Inc. ("CDFF"), a producer and distributor of fresh-squeezed fruit and vegetable juices, and Wiman Beverage Company, Inc., a leading producer of juice products in the San Francisco Bay Area. California Day-Fresh Foods is a Glendora, CA-based subsidiary of Chiquita Brands International. North Castle will merge the two companies to form the second largest West Coast producer and distributor of fresh juices, juice blends and smoothies. The new company will maintain the name California Day-Fresh Foods, Inc.

"By combining these two innovative companies, we take another step forward in implementing our strategy of building a national leader in the refrigerated premium beverage industry," said Brent Knudsen, a principal of North Castle Partners. "The new company will significantly expand our product portfolio and sales and distribution networks in the Western United States," said Knudsen.

The acquisitions of California Day-Fresh Foods and Wiman Beverage are part of North Castle's plan of bringing together quality companies in the refrigerated beverage industry. On June 5, 2000, North Castle acquired controlling interest in M.H. Zeigler & Sons, Inc. And on June 21, 2000, North Castle acquired all of the publicly held stock in Saratoga Beverage Group. Since 1998, North Castle has owned Mountain Sun Organic Juices.

David Sperry, president of California Day-Fresh Foods, will continue as the president of the new company. "We are enthusiastic about our partnership with North Castle," said Mr. Sperry. "We believe that by working closely with the professionals at North Castle and the firm's other companies in this industry, together we will be able to create an industry leading company." The senior management of the combined company will be made up of senior managers from both California Day-Fresh Food and Wiman Beverage.

California Day-Fresh Foods, Inc.'s brands include Naked Juice and Ferraro's. With the merger, it will add the Wiman juice brand, as well as Rave and Javalicious. The company's manufacturing and distribution facilities are located in Glendora, Brisbane, and San Diego, California and Denver, Colorado.

For more info: Joseph W. McDonnell, Broadgate Consultants, Inc., 212-232-2222.

Edited by Judy Rice