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First Beverage Group Acts as Financial Advisor to Argo Tea, Inc.

First Beverage Group:

First Beverage Financial, the investment banking arm of First Beverage Group, announced that it acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Argo Tea, Inc. (“Argo Tea”) in its recent growth capital investment from Breakwater Investment Management.  Argo Tea is a leading Chicago-based tea retailer and wholesaler, with over 40 locations in the U.S. and internationally.  The company also offers ten of its most popular signature beverages in Argo’s iconic Ready-to-Drink (RTD) bottles in over 16,000 distribution outlets and is the fastest growing RTD tea brand in the market.

“Argo Tea has become a household name and a leading beverage brand renowned for its high-quality products,” said Arsen Avakian, founder and CEO of Argo Tea. “The company’s differentiated brand is set for further expansion, and this well-structured financing will help us take full advantage of additional attractive commercial opportunities.”

“Argo Tea’s compelling omni-channel strategy offers multiple avenues for growing the brand and its product offering,” said Saif Mansour, Managing Partner at Breakwater. “The company’s robust wholesale platform has been flourishing, with sales doubling each year, and its highly scalable licensing business and vast ecosystem of partnerships with global food and beverage firms offer further attractive growth prospects. We are delighted to be supporting Arsen Avakian and his exceptional management team, as they pursue new, exciting expansion plans for the business.”

“We are pleased to have partnered Arsen and the Argo TEAm with Breakwater on this transaction which provides a flexible solution to fund the Company’s near-term expansion plans” said Managing Partner Nicole Fry of First Beverage Group. “Argo has created a truly differentiated beverage brand that is a leader in the tea category and we look forward to continuing to work with the Argo TEAm as their domestic and international growth accelerates.”

Argo Tea is led by highly respected industry veterans with a proven track record of growing consumer products companies, including PepsiCo, Starbucks, and Panda Express.

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About First Beverage Group

First Beverage Group is a full-service financial services firm dedicated exclusively to the beverage industry. First Beverage provides a comprehensive range of products, including investment banking and investment funds for growth capital to leading operators in all segments of the beverage industry. 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 industry and investment banking experience.  For more information, please visit the company’s website, www.firstbeveragegroup.com.

About Argo Tea

Argo Tea®, the company known for blending the finest local and global loose-leaf teas in over 40 locations worldwide, is a multi-channel branded beverage enterprise headquartered in Chicago, IL. Founded in 2003, the business offers a unique experience for customers through its distinctive menu of natural, tea-based signature drinks, wide choice of loose-leaf teas, organic coffee, and other specialty foods. For more information, please visit the company’s website, www.argotea.com.

About Breakwater Investment Management

Breakwater Investment Management is a private investment firm that makes direct equity and debt investments in leading lower middle market growth companies. The firm aligns itself with committed management teams, owners, and sponsors, providing both capital and operating expertise to propel emerging businesses into their growth curve. Breakwater is a diversified alternative asset manager that offers independent and institutional investors access to multiple investment vehicles that serve the lower middle market’s growth capital needs. For more information, please visit the company’s website, www.breakwaterfunds.com.