Food & Beverage

Cold-pressed drink company Suja taps Evercore to explore possible sale

Key Points
  • Suja Life has tapped investment bank Evercore to explore a possible sale, people familiar with the situation tell CNBC.
  • Coca-Cola took a stake in Suja three years ago that valued it at $300 million.
  • Suja has roughly $100 million in revenue.
Source: Suja 

Cold-pressed drink company Suja Life has tapped investment bank Evercore to explore a possible sale of the company, people familiar with the matter tell CNBC.

The move comes three years after Coca-Cola took a minority stake in the company, with an eye toward the trendier drink market. The deal came with an option for Coke to buy Suja after three years.

As part of the process, Suja could sell itself entirely or just a stake. Coke, as such, could choose to sell or retain its stake in the drink company.

Coke spokeswoman Lauren Thompson said the company continues to invest in and partner with Suja, declining to comment on a potential sale.

"We believe in the mission of the company and its CEO, Jeff Church, and the future growth potential of the brand," Thompson said.

Evercore declined to comment.

Suja has roughly $100 million in revenue, one of the people told CNBC. A valuation of the company could not be immediately determined, but Coke valued it at roughly $300 million at the time of its investment.

The people asked not be named because the information is confidential.

Suja made its name the cold-pressed juice market, a style of drink that is said to extend the life of fresh juices. Since then, it has expanded to make other drinks like Kombucha and probiotic vinegar juice.

Deal activity in the beverage industry has been robust over the last few years as larger companies have looked for growth in younger brands as sales of carbonated drinks slow. With tastes and and trends constantly changing, some larger established companies have taken minority stakes to place smaller bets on trendier drinks, while others have bought companies outright.

Keurig Dr Pepper earlier this year announced its intention to acquire Core Nutrition, maker of Core water, for $525 million. Coke earlier this year took a stake in sports drink BodyArmor.

Coke previously said buying smaller companies serves "many purposes, like filling gaps in our beverage portfolio or entering emerging categories. When we see small companies with great brands, M&A provides the opportunity to acquire or invest – and to create value by making these brands bigger and better than they already are."

Suja was founded in 2012 by entrepreneurs Annie Lawless, Eric Ethans, Jeff Church and James Brennan.

Other investors in the drink brand have included celebrities Leonardo DiCaprio, Jared Leto and Sofia Vergara.