Nautic Partners, LLC, a private equity firm with more than $1.8 billion of capital under management, today announced that it has acquired Big Train, Inc., in partnership with Big Train management. Headquartered in Foothill Ranch, California, Big Train is a manufacturer and distributor of powdered and liquid beverage products.
Founded in 1989 by Paul Roy and Craig Meyers, Big Train has become a leading brand in the powdered and liquid concentrate beverage market. The company delivers its products, including chai teas, blended ice coffees, blended fruit teas, hot cocoas, smoothie mixes, and flavored syrups, to more than 7,000 customers, including independent and small chain coffee shops, bakeries and small retail coffee outlets. Big Train also serves foreign clients through its fast-growing international division.
“Big Train is a leading brand with a strong competitive position in the growing specialty coffee, tea, and smoothie beverage markets,” said Fraser Preston, Principal of Nautic. “With their broad product suite and successful distribution strategy, Big Train is an excellent investment opportunity with attractive growth prospects. In addition, we expect to leverage Nautic’s prior experience in the flavors and beverage industries to help the company achieve its goals.”
“The Big Train management team is led by a talented group of people who have grown the business significantly over the past several years,” said Bernie Buonanno, Managing Director of Nautic. “We expect this growth to continue based on the strength of the product line, the opportunities for new product introductions, and by further expanding the company’s international presence.”
“We are excited to work with Nautic as we execute on our growth plan,” said CEO Mike Dunn. “With Nautic’s financial and strategic support, as well as its experience in the flavor and fragrances market, we look forward to continuing to build upon our success.”
GE Antares Capital arranged the senior debt financing for the transaction. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
The investment in Big Train represents Nautic Partners’ fourth new investment in 2006. In February, Nautic announced the acquisition of Oasis Outsourcing, LLC, one of the largest professional employer organizations in the U.S. In April, Nautic announced investments in Curtis Industries Holdings, LLC, the leading manufacturer of cabs and enclosures for utility vehicles, compact tractors, and golf carts; and 1105 Media Holdings, LLC, a company formed to acquire and operate companies in the business-to-business information industry.
About Big Train, Inc.
Headquartered in Foothill Ranch, California , with manufacturing facilities in Rancho Santa Margarita, California, Big Train is a manufacturer and distributor of powdered and liquid concentrate beverage products, including chai tea, blended ice coffee, and other tea and smoothie mixes. The company focuses on delivering its product to independent and small chain coffee shops, bakeries and small retail coffee outlets. For more information about Big Train, visit www.bigtrain.com.