Tata Global Beverages, the global beverage business of the Tata Group, is picking up a stake in the US-based performance beverage and bottled water company Activate. Tata Global has led the round where Activate has raised over $6 million in financing and secured equity commitments for an additional $15 million, said a statement. The deal marks re-entry of Tata Global, which sold its stake in Glacéau for $1.2 billion in 2007, in the enhanced water space.
Other investors who participated in this round include experienced beverage investor, James Berkeley and key strategic beverage distributors. Existing investors including The Tornante Company and the Eisner family (of Walt Disney Company fame) also invested in the round.
Activate raised $6 million in March this year in a round led by First Beverage Group, Tornante and other existing investors.
Tata Global Beverages, which is the world’s second largest tea company, owns brands like Tetley, Himalayan natural mineral water, Good Earth and Eight O’clock coffee with turnover in excess of $1.5 billion. It acquired a 30% stake in Energy Brands (which owns Glacéau) in 2006 for $677 million but sold its stake during Coca-Cola’s $4.1 billion takeover.
Tata Tea and PepsiCo had formed a JV earlier this year to explore business opportunities in the non-carbonated space.
“We have ambitious growth plans and a vision to become the leader in the ‘good for you’ beverage segment. This investment is the latest piece in our strategic journey to reach consumers in different ways and to help deliver sustainable hydration across the world,” said Peter Unsworth, Group CEO of Tata Global Beverages.
Activate produces an innovative beverage which utilizes the company’s patented cap technology to maximize the freshness of vitamins by keeping them dry until the product is ready to be consumed. The company said its grown monthly revenues over 360% and grown retail accounts from approximately 800 to over 6,600.
“We are thrilled to have found a partner in Tata, a true global powerhouse that has had a significant presence in the North American market for over 60 years. Activate will not only benefit from the major investment and overall commitment to the company but also from Tata’s deep expertise in the beverage industry and the solid infrastructure they have built along the way,” said Activate president Dan Holland.