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First Beverage Ventures Makes Investment in Essentia

First Beverage Group:

Los Angeles, CA – September 8, 2014 – First Beverage Ventures, the private equity arm of First Beverage Group, today announced that it has made an investment in Essentia Water, the leading alkaline water brand in the United States. First Beverage participated along with Castanea Partners in the private placement investment that will support Essentia’s expansion of its distribution network, sales force, brand activation and supply capability to compete in the mainstream marketplace. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“Essentia’s growth has been explosive and the brand is poised to become a powerful healthy lifestyle brand,” said Tom First, Managing Partner of First Beverage.  “We are excited to add our brand development expertise and network of relationships to the already talented team at Essentia.”

Launched in 1998, Essentia was the first functional bottled water offered in the United States. Today Essentia is the number one selling bottled water brand in the natural channel and the fastest growing top 10 premium bottled water brand in the grocery channel. Created using a proprietary process that results in an electrolyte-enhanced water with an alkaline 9.5 pH, Essentia hydrates, restores and balances to promote optimal health. Led by founder Ken Uptain, the company has grown rapidly in recent years, expanding distribution across North America.

“We were looking for more than just funding,” said Ken Uptain, Essentia’s founder and CEO. “We wanted a value-added partnership that would take us through an accelerated growth phase without losing the authenticity that our brand has created since its initial launch in 1998. With this deal, now that is exactly what we have.”

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About First Beverage Group

First Beverage Group advises and invests in innovative and transformational beverage brands. Through our investment bank and private equity fund, we help beverage companies grow and stand out in a dynamic and competitive industry. We form true partnerships with our clients by leveraging both our financial and intellectual capital. Headquartered in Los Angeles with offices in Boston and New York, the First Beverage team is made up of entrepreneurial senior beverage executives with over 200 years of collective industry experience. For more information, please visit the company’s website, www.firstbeveragegroup.com.

About Essentia

Essentia Water, LLC launched its hydrating alkaline water in 1998. The first functional bottled water offered in the United States, Essentia is the no. 1 selling bottled water brand in the natural channel and the fastest growing top 10 premium bottled water brand in the grocery channel. Essentia is Hydration Perfected™, created using a proprietary process that results in an electrolyte-enhanced water with an alkaline 9.5 pH.  Easily absorbed in the body, Essentia hydrates, restores and balances to promote optimal health. Headquartered in Bothell, Wash, Essentia is available at natural foods markets and grocers throughout the United States, and online at Amazon.com. To learn more about Essentia, please visit www.essentiawater.com or connect with Essentia on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

About Castanea

Castanea Partners is a private equity firm founded by operating executives and private equity veterans. Castanea invests between $15M to $75M of equity in companies within specifically targeted industry sectors where the firm has proven investment and operating expertise. Castanea is principally focused on investing in dynamic consumer brands and marketing services companies that enable such brands to connect with their customers. The firm also seeks to invest in select business-to-business providers of key information. Castanea is currently investing from its third fund, a $500 million fund that targets companies with enterprise values up to $250 million. For more information, visit www.castaneapartners.com.