Harvest Hill Beverage buying American Beverage from Wessanen for about $55 million

MarketsAssociated Press

The owner of the Juicy Juice drinks will spend about $55 million to buy American Beverage from Wessanen.

American Beverage Corp. makes fruit drinks, ready-to-drink alcoholic beverages and non-alcoholic cocktail mixers. Its brands include Little Hug Fruit Barrels, Big Hug, GuzzlerT and Daily's, which include alcoholic cocktail drinks and mixers. American, founded in 1960, is based in Rye Brook, New York. It has approximately 337 employees.

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Harvest Hill Beverage Co., which owns Juicy Juice, is a majority-owned portfolio company of Brynwood Partners VII LP. Harvest Hill, based in The Stamford, Connecticut, was created in June to acquire Juicy Juice from Nestle USA.

Henk Hartong, Chairman and CEO of Brynwood Partners and Chairman of Harvest Hill, said in a printed statement that the Little Hug brand will give Harvest Hill entry into the sizeable juice drink category. American Beverage's manufacturing plants in Verona, Pennsylvania, and Phoenix will also provide Harvest Hill with additional production flexibility, he added.

Sal DePrima, president and CEO of Harvest Hill, said that the acquisition makes Harvest Hill one of the largest independently owned juice companies in the U.S.

The American Beverage deal is targeted to close during the first half of 2015.