DS Waters of America, Inc. has agreed to be acquired by an affiliate of Crestview Partners, a New York-based private equity firm with approximately $4 billion under management. DS Waters is privately held.
"We are excited about this next step in the evolution of our company as we transition to new ownership," said Tom Harrington, president and chief executive officer of DS Waters, in a prepared statement. "Our partnership with Crestview will provide additional capital and support as we accelerate our growth, both organically and through acquisitions, and further expand our product offering. We remain committed to providing convenience, high quality products and superior customer service to our beverage customers."
Under the terms of the agreement, Crestview will acquire DS Waters from a group of equity owners via a merger for an undisclosed sum. The transaction is expected to close within the next three months. Members of the management team will invest in the transaction alongside Crestview. DS Waters will remain headquartered in Atlanta, Ga.
Jeffrey Marcus, a partner at Crestview Partners, said, "We have followed the progress of DS Waters since 2011 and have tremendous respect for the management team. This is an opportunity to invest in one of the true market leaders within the beverage services industry, and we look forward to supporting management in executing their growth plans. The retired CEO of DS Waters, Dillon Schickli, has partnered with us in this transaction and has advised us throughout our diligence process. We are excited that he and Jim Turner, a longtime beverage industry executive and current DS Waters shareholder and board member, will be investing alongside Crestview and joining our board of directors."
Bill Eckmann, outgoing chairman of DS Waters, said, "On behalf of the current equity ownership group, I would like to thank Tom and the entire management team for their strong leadership and expansion of the company's business, services and capabilities over the past several years. We are confident that they will successfully build upon this foundation with Crestview."
Evercore acted as financial advisor to DS Waters, and Proskauer Rose LLP was the company's legal advisor.
Barclays and Jefferies LLC acted as M&A advisors to Crestview Partners, and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP was the legal advisor.