Westrock Coffee Co to acquire S&D Coffee & Tea
Westrock Coffee Company, LLC today entered into a definitive agreement to acquire S&D Coffee & Tea from Cott Corporation. The transaction is expected to close within the next several weeks and will create a leading integrated coffee company serving the needs of the retail, restaurant, convenience store, and hospitality industries.
“This strategic combination will create the nation’s premier coffee, tea, and extract supplier that is capable of serving the most complex and demanding customers across the country and around the world. We intend to use the scale of the new company to offer the most innovative beverage solutions with competitive pricing to our global clients while simultaneously providing a premium price to our farmer partners at origin. Our unmatched commitment to customer service, product quality, and our industry-leading sustainability and transparent sourcing practices will remain a cornerstone of our business,” said Scott Ford, Westrock Coffee co-founder and CEO of the Little Rock, Arkansas-based company. “Our combined organization will seek to lead the industry with our sustainability program and to accelerate the development of a broadening array of innovative products.”
Westrock Coffee Company will be the parent company. The two operating subsidiaries will be Westrock Coffee Roasting and S&D Coffee & Tea and will continue to serve customers under their respective brand names for the foreseeable future.
Westrock Coffee will remain headquartered in Arkansas, with its recently enlarged roasting and packaging plant in North Little Rock already earmarked for further expansion. Westrock Coffee is one of Walmart Stores’ private label coffee suppliers for its US stores. In fall 2019, Walmart announced that all coffee sourced for Walmart US private brands is now certified sustainable (through third-party certifiers such as Fair Trade and Rainforest Alliance/UTZ) — one year ahead of schedule.
The S&D organization in Concord, North Carolina will continue as a major center of operations with plans to continue expansion of these facilities.
The new company will employ approximately 1,700 people globally and can roast, grind, and package more than 220 million pounds of coffee annually. The company will also continue to be one of the largest tea suppliers in the US and the leading premium extract supplier to global foodservice and consumer product companies.
Ford added, “We are very pleased that following the closing of the transaction, S&D president and CEO Ron Hinson will remain as an advisor to the new, combined organization as chairman emeritus. We value Ron’s extensive industry knowledge and deep relationships amassed over his 41 years at S&D. We admire how S&D has grown and evolved during his tenure as president and CEO.”
“Participating in S&D’s growth and success during the past four decades has been incredible. We achieved industry leadership by innovating to serve our customers. We invested in job and career growth for employees and our community, and I look forward to working with Scott and the newly combined leadership team to see these achievements go even further. The highly complementary product and customer focus S&D brings to Westrock Coffee makes this a terrific event for our business, our employees, and especially our customers,” Hinson said.
In conjunction with the transaction, BBH Capital Partners, a private equity strategy of Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., will provide acquisition capital alongside Westrock Coffee’s existing investors, including The Stephens Group, LLC. Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz served as legal advisor to Westrock Coffee.
Westrock Coffee is a farmer-focused, fully integrated company providing coffee sourcing and financing, supply chain management, roasting, packaging, and distribution services to customers around the world. The company has offices in seven countries which market coffee from more than 20 origin countries impacting over one million members of smallholder farming households. Through Westrock Coffee’s US based roasting operations, the company roasts, grinds, packages, and delivers branded and private label coffee in bags, fractional packs, and single serve cups.
S&D Coffee & Tea is the largest coffee and tea manufacturer and supplier to restaurants and convenience stores in America. S&D is also a leading producer of liquid extracts. In continuous operation since 1927, the company serves over 110,000 customers through national distribution and direct store delivery.