Weld North Acquires Organic Avenue

Weld North Acquires Organic Avenue

Weld North has acquired a significant control stake equal to approximately 70% in Organic Avenue, an organic juice company.  This investment follows a minority stake taken by Weld North in Organic Avenue in June 2012.

Organic Avenue is a provider of organic cold pressed juices, vegan food cleansing programs, snacks, superfoods, healthy lifestyle education and community building events. The company is based in New York (www.organicavenue.com).

“We are very excited to increase our ownership position in Organic Avenue,” said Jonathan Grayer, chairman and CEO of Weld North.  “We are convinced that Organic Avenue is extraordinarily well positioned to become a national leader in both the rapidly growing $5 billion organic juicing industry and the $75 billion natural foods industry, driven by an increasing number of consumers moving towards a healthier diet of organic foods. We are exploring a number of potential distribution models including increasing the footprint of our retail locations and web business as well as agreements with third-party distributors.  Organic Avenue has all the attributes that fit our investment profile: it is a dynamic platform with differentiated product offerings in a high growth industry that can rapidly scale into a national presence.”

Organic Avenue Founder Denise Mari and current CEO Doug Evans will transition to the company’s Board of Directors. In addition to his Organic Avenue Board role, Mr. Evans will also work on wellness investment opportunities at Weld North.  Current Chief Operating Officer Arthur Pergament will serve as interim CEO and the company has initiated a national search for its next CEO.

“We are grateful to Denise and Doug for their leadership over the past seven years and look forward to their continued contributions as members of the Board. Arthur Pergament has also played an important role at Organic Avenue over the last year and we look forward to continuing to work closely with him going forward,” said Mr. Grayer.

Weld North is an investment company founded by former Kaplan CEO Jonathan Grayer in partnership with Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.   Sectors of interest include education, health and wellness, consumer services and marketing businesses.  The firm is based in Greenwich, CT (www.weldnorth.com).

© 2013 PEPD • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 1-8-13

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