VMG Exits Mighty Leaf Tea

VMG Exits Mighty Leaf Tea

mighty leaf nf1Mighty Leaf Tea, a portfolio company of VMG Partners, has been sold to Peet’s Coffee & Tea in partnership with Next World Group which owns a minority stake in Peet’s.

Mighty Leaf Tea is a specialty tea brand known for its artisan teas and creative blends as well as a handcrafted compostable mesh tea pouch. Products are sold through specialty retailers, high-end restaurants and premier hotels and resorts.  Mighty was co-founded in 1996 by Gary Shinner and Jill Portman and is based in San Rafael, CA (www.mightyleaf.com).

“We’re excited to add Mighty Leaf Tea to the Peet’s family as we’re both Bay Area companies with core values built on the highest standards of quality and deep commitment to craft – it’s a natural, complementary fit,” said Dave Burwick, president and CEO of Peet’s Coffee & Tea. “Mighty Leaf is a fantastic premium brand, known for its artisan teas and signature hand-designed mesh tea pouch; their addition to our existing tea business enables us to further strengthen and accelerate our growth in this market.”

peets nf1Peet’s Coffee & Tea is a specialty coffee and tea company. The company’s products are sold through foodservice and retail channels.  Peet’s began its biggest US retail coffee shop expansion ever last year, which will add nearly 60 stores by the end of this year. Peet’s has already seen record-breaking sales with the recent launch of its 20 stores in the greater Washington, DC area and will add 20 additional stores across Chicago and southeast Wisconsin later this summer.  The company was founded in 1966 in Berkeley, CA by Alfred Peet.  In 2012, Peet’s was acquired by the German company Joh. A. Benckiser for $974 million.  Peet’s Coffee & Tea is based near San Francisco in Emeryville, CA (www.peets.com).

“This is an important step in Mighty Leaf Tea’s journey, and we’re excited to take our brand to the next level with Peet’s Coffee & Tea,” said Gary Shinner, co-founder of Mighty Leaf Tea. “This is a win for both Mighty Leaf and Peet’s as we both share a dedication to premium quality and craft mastery that will become even stronger together.”

Next World Group is a privately held investment firm. Sectors of interest include personal care and specialty food & beverage.  The firm is based in San Francisco with additional offices in London, Brussels and Paris (www.nextworldgroup.com).

2014 PEPD • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 8-4-14

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