Castanea Partners Completes Sale of Fuze to Coca-Cola



    NEWTON, MASS., March 26 /CNW/ - Castanea Partners announced today the
completion of the sale of Fuze Beverage to The Coca-Cola Company. Fuze, a
market leader in brand innovation, develops and markets vitamin infused juice
drinks and teas to consumers seeking healthier beverage alternatives. Castanea
initially invested in Fuze in early 2004.

    Fuze was founded in 2001 by Lance Collins, an entrepreneur with an
impressive track record of beverage innovation. Since Castanea's investment,
Fuze has enjoyed rapid growth and developed a nationally recognized brand in
the highly competitive new age beverage category. In addition to its flagship
Fuze brand, the company's extensive portfolio includes a successful line of
energy drinks and the recently launched organic WaterPlus.

    Commenting on the completion of the transaction, Brian Knez, a Managing
Partner at Castanea, said, "Lance and his team have done an outstanding job
building the Fuze brand through creative grassroots marketing, improved
distribution, and continuous product innovation."

    During Castanea's tenure with the company, Fuze launched a continuous
stream of new products, greatly expanding its presence across retail channels,
and built a nationwide network of distribution. Since Castanea's investment in
Fuze, the company's sales volume has more than tripled.

    Lance Collins, Fuze Founder and CEO, commented, "Castanea joined us at a
critical time in our development and really contributed to our success. They
understood our industry and repeatedly rolled-up their sleeves to help us
tackle important issues. We were looking for a value-added partner and they
certainly delivered."

    About Castanea Partners

    Founded in 2001, Castanea Partners is a private equity firm that invests
in small to middle market companies in publishing, education, training,
consumer brands and specialty retail.

    The firm has extensive operating and private equity investment experience
in these sectors and, working closely with management, seeks to optimize
business performance and realize attractive returns. Castanea is currently
investing from its second fund, a $207 million fund that targets companies
with enterprise values between $25 million and $125 million. For more
information on Castanea Partners, please visit www.castaneapartners.com.




For further information:

For further information: Castanea Partners Brian Knez, 617-630-2401
Managing Partner bknez@castaneapartners.com or Robert Smith, 617-630-2410
Managing Partner rsmith@castaneapartners.com or Marion Schouten, 617-630-2420
Director, Market Development mschouten@castaneapartners.com

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