Riverside Co looking for new options for its “5 a day”

Riverside Co, the US-based private equity firm that invests in “companies with enterprise values of under USD 250 million” is considering its exit options for its first investment made in Australia, Retail Zoo, according to press reports.

Retail Zoo is the Australian juice bar chain behind Boost Juice that was started with one location by a husband and wife team in Australia in 2000. By the time Riverside bought into the company in May 2010, the chain had grown to over 250 stores in 14 countries across the Asia Pacific region. The company had already undertaken an acquisition with the purchase of the Mexican chain Salsa’s in 2008, prior to the investment by Riverside, and within a few months of the investment expanded its markets again by acquiring Cibo Espresso of Australia.

Perhaps the most high profile deal to date involving a juice company was the USD 265m takeover of Jamba Juice by Services Acquisition Corp, a special purpose acquisition company headed by Blockbuster founder Steven Berrard, which having completed the acquisition changed its name to Jamba Inc, thus allowing Jamba to take over the listing of Services Acquisition Corp.

The consumer market for healthier food and drink options on high streets and in shopping malls continues to drive forward this growing sector, and Riverside seem in a prime position to capitalise on this should their exit proceed.