January, 12 2021
WM PARTNERS ANNOUNCES ACQUISITION OF JADE LEAF, LLC
January 12, 2021, Aventura, FL. WM Partners, a certified diverse-owned private equity firm focused on investing in lower-middle market companies and driving value creation in the health and wellness sector, today announced that HPH II Investments Master Fund, LP, together with its parallel and feeder funds (“HPH II”), through its wholly owned entity, has acquired Jade Leaf, LLC (“Jade Leaf”), the category leader for matcha green tea products in the United States. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Headquartered in Seattle, WA, Jade Leaf was founded in 2014 as a partnership between two friends who are passionate about matcha green tea and committed to sourcing high quality, organic, and affordable Japanese matcha products. Jade Leaf created a brand rooted in fair pricing, quality, and transparency, and cultivated relationships with partners in Japan to build the broadest network of family-run tea farms. This sourcing network, known as the Kizuna Tea Collective, stretches across Japan’s premiere growing regions, where its members have been cultivating high quality matcha green tea since 1858. The Company sells premium quality, organic Japanese matcha tea in a range of pure grades, as well as blended products. Jade Leaf’s matcha is plant based, organic, non-gmo, keto and paleo friendly, and Whole30 approved. It attracts health-conscious consumers looking for functional health benefits, such as antioxidants and an energy boost from an alternative to coffee. The Company sells its products through major retailers in the natural, conventional, and mass channels, including Target, Walmart, Whole Foods, and Sprouts. Jade Leaf is the top selling matcha brand on Amazon, and also sells direct to consumers, foodservice, and wholesale clients on its website, jadeleaf.com.
HPH II is focused on acquiring lower-middle market companies with leading brands in the health and wellness sector and growing the companies through an operational buy and build value creation strategy. HPH II is focused on the following subsectors: functional foods, natural personal care and natural over-the-counter remedies – fast-growing, defensive and highly fragmented subsectors. These strong fundamentals are appealing to WM Partners’ value creation strategy as HPH II aims to consolidate multiple complementary brands into several holding companies and grow and scale them operationally, so they become attractive to strategic buyers. The acquisition of Jade Leaf complements HPH II’s existing portfolio of brands in the functional foods subsector: Ultima Replenisher, a hydration brand acquired in 2019; and Great Lakes, a collagen brand acquired in 2020. The Company will be consolidated into the functional foods holding company.
“We are excited to work with the Jade Leaf team and implement our value creation toolkit to help take the brand to the next level of growth, as well as capture operational and commercial synergies with our existing portfolio of brands,” said Jose Minski, co-founder of WM Partners.
“WM Partners is the right partner to help take our brand to the next level with its many years of operational experience and networks in the health and wellness industry,” said Will Crowthers, co-founder of Jade Leaf.
Lincoln International served as financial advisor for Jade Leaf. King & Spalding served as legal advisor for WM Partners. BraunHagey & Borden served as legal advisor for Jade Leaf.
About WM Partners, LP
WM Partners is a middle-market private equity firm specializing in buyout investments in the health and wellness sector. WM Partners seeks to acquire small and medium size businesses with attractive growth prospects and generate sustainable, long-term value through its operational expertise in the health and wellness sector, and strategic business approach working in collaboration with experienced management teams. WM Partners is certified as a diverse-owned firm by the National Association of Investment Companies. WM Partners is based in Aventura, FL. More information about WM Partners is available at www.wmplp.com.
About Jade Leaf, LLC
Jade Leaf is a provider of premium quality, organic Japanese matcha green tea products. Founded in 2014, Jade Leaf partners with a network of family-run tea farms across Japan that have been cultivating high quality matcha since 1858.
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WM Partners, LP