NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Weld North LLC, an investment company founded by former Kaplan, Inc. CEO Jonathan Grayer in partnership with Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR), announced today that it has acquired a significant control stake equal to approximately 70% in Organic Avenue, a trend-setter in the vibrant organic juice and food marketplace. The investment follows a minority stake taken in the company in June 2012.
“We are very excited to increase our ownership position in Organic Avenue”
Weld North also announced that Organic Avenue Founder Denise Mari and current CEO Doug Evans will transition to the company’s Board of Directors. In addition to his Organic Avenue Board role, Doug will also work on wellness investment opportunities at Weld North. Current Chief Operating Officer Arthur Pergament will serve as interim CEO and the company has initiated a national search for its next CEO.
“We are very excited to increase our ownership position in Organic Avenue,” said Jonathan Grayer, chairman and CEO, Weld North. “We are convinced that Organic Avenue is extraordinarily well positioned to become a national leader in both the rapidly growing $5 billion organic juicing industry and the $75 billion natural foods industry, driven by an increasing number of consumers moving towards a healthier diet of organic foods. We are exploring a number of potential distribution models including increasing the footprint of our retail locations and Web business as well as agreements with third-party distributors. Organic Avenue has all the attributes that fit our investment profile: it is a dynamic platform with differentiated product offerings in a high growth industry that can rapidly scale into a national presence.”
Grayer continued, “We are grateful to Denise and Doug for their leadership over the past seven years and look forward to their continued contributions as members of the Board. Arthur Pergament has also played an important role at Organic Avenue over the last year and we look forward to continuing to work closely with him going forward.”
Based in New York City, Organic Avenue is the leading provider of organic cold pressed juices, vegan food cleansing programs, snacks, superfoods, healthy lifestyle education and community building events. The company helps people learn how to maintain a healthy lifestyle that is pleasurable and sustainable while also friendly to people, animals and the environment. Visit http://www.organicavenue.com.
About Weld North
Weld North is an investment company concentrating on education, health and wellness, consumer services and marketing businesses. In partnership with KKR, a leading global investment firm, Weld North seeks to make control investments in businesses with high potential for long-term growth in cash flow. With strong and highly motivated management teams, the firm looks to accelerate growth through an obsessive focus on enhancing the customer experience, operational excellence, marketing expertise, and strategic and disciplined management.