Westrock Coffee Company To Go Public Through Combination With Riverview Acquisition (RVAC)

Apr 4th, 2022 13:27 EST
  • Westrock Coffee Holdings announced its plan to go public via a business combination with Riverview Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ: RVAC). These are the details.

Westrock Coffee Holdings, LLC announced its plan to go public via a business combination with Riverview Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ: RVAC), which values the company at approximately $1.086 billion. The proposed business combination will enable Westrock Coffee to accelerate the build-out of the United States’ largest roasting to a ready-to-drink facility, as well as the company’s further expansion into Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East in support of its blue-chip customers. Upon the closing of the deal, the combined company will be named Westrock Coffee Company and is expected to be listed on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “WEST.”

Westrock Coffee is led by Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder Scott Ford, previously President and CEO of Alltel Wireless. Riverview is led by its Chairman and CEO R. Brad Martin, Retired Chairman and CEO of Saks Incorporated and current Board member of FedEx Corporation and Pilot Company.

Westrock Coffee is a company that supplies the world’s most iconic brands with the world’s most innovative coffee, tea, flavors, extracts, and ingredients products. And as the “brand behind the brands,” Westrock Coffee’s long-tenured customers include blue-chip market leaders across the retail, restaurant, and food service, convenience store and travel center, non-commercial account, CPG, and hospitality industries.

Westrock Coffee currently provides more than 20 million cups of coffee to the world daily. And the company is also the largest custom/private label coffee and tea provider to restaurants in the United States by volume, and the second-largest coffee extract provider in ready-to-drink coffee. The company was founded 13 years ago with the belief that growth is an inevitable byproduct of investments in infrastructure, farmer development, supply chain traceability and transparency, product innovation, and technological advancement. Ford founded the company with the goal to create economic opportunities for farmers, their families, and the communities where they live.

Now Westrock Coffee sources from over 1.5 million smallholder farmers in 35 countries worldwide. And its hands-on approach to working with its farmer partners has led to improved social, economic, and environmental standards for people around the world while expanding its offerings to its customers. Plus Westrock Coffee’s proprietary digital tracing technology stack gives its customers visibility into every step of the supply chain. As a result, the company has grown exponentially since its founding with total net revenues expected to exceed $960 million in 2022.

This deal will support Westrock Coffee’s mission to build and efficiently operate the preeminent integrated coffee, tea, flavors, extracts, and ingredients supply chain in the world. And the proceeds from the transaction will be used to fuel the Company’s organic growth plans, including further expansion of its product and solution offerings and customer base, and the build-out of manufacturing facilities in the U.S., including the largest, roasting to a ready-to-drink facility in the nation. The funds will also be used in the pursuit of strategic acquisitions, and the acceleration of growth in existing and international markets including Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East.

Deal Overview

The deal values the combined company at a pro forma enterprise value of approximately $1.086 billion at $10 per share, representing 1.1 times projected 2022 revenues and approximately 14.5 times projected 2022 Adjusted EBITDA. And as part of the transaction, Westrock Coffee will convert into a corporation and all of Westrock Coffee’s existing shareholders will roll 100% of their shares into the new company and, assuming no redemptions from Riverview shareholders, will hold approximately 53% of the shares of the combined company on closing.

Assuming no redemptions from Riverview shareholders, the transaction will deliver approximately $500 million in gross cash proceeds to the combined company including $250 million in common stock PIPE commitments at $10 per share, funded by $60 million from R. Brad Martin, NFC Investments, LLC, and the other Riverview Acquisition Corp. founders, $25 million from Westrock Coffee founders, and $78 million each from HF Capital, the Haslam family investment office, and funds managed by Southeastern Asset Management.

In connection with deal, Westrock Coffee has secured a financing commitment from Wells Fargo for a $300 million Senior Secured Pro Rata Credit Facility to be entered into at closing, which will be used to re-finance the Company’s existing debt and fund its expansion plans.

The Boards of Directors of Westrock Coffee and Riverview have each unanimously approved this transaction. And the deal is subject to customary closing conditions, including approval of the shareholders of RVAC. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the third quarter of 2022.

KEY QUOTES:

“The announcement today to go public via this transaction with Riverview represents a truly important milestone in Westrock Coffee’s journey. We started Westrock Coffee when we saw the need for coffee farmers in Rwanda to earn a living wage and realized that a new business model for the industry could enable this outcome while being self-sustaining and un-reliant on the vagaries of charity or consumer price premiums. Our mission to positively impact the coffee, tea, flavors, extracts, and ingredients market from crop to cup has proven to be both enormously successful and gratifying. Our scaled platform and comprehensive portfolio of beverage solutions has allowed us to deliver high-quality coffee, tea, and extracts products to the largest and most recognizable names in the world, while making a noticeable impact in the lives of our farmer partners, by empowering them economically to improve their lives and the lives of those in their communities.”

“As we were considering entering the public market, we had the opportunity to meet Brad Martin, an accomplished executive whose big heart and experience with scaled operating platforms made him the ideal partner to help fulfill our global mission. This transaction, in partnership with Brad and the incredible team at Riverview Acquisition Corp., will catapult our efforts globally and open a pathway for public investors to participate in our important work.”

– Scott Ford, CEO and Co-Founder of Westrock Coffee

“When we launched Riverview Acquisition Corp., I stated that our objective was to find a merger partner in an attractive business with tangible growth prospects in which we could invest, a solid market position with competitive strengths, and an experienced, public company-ready management team that has demonstrated a commitment to maximizing value while operating with the highest level of integrity. I’m pleased that we are able to announce today that we have achieved that objective in our proposed merger with Westrock Coffee.”

“I’ve long admired the Ford family, and because of my respect for them, I approached them about the possibility of partnering with Riverview. The intense customer, commercial, and mission focus of the Westrock team has built a terrific business over the last 13 years, and now the Company is poised for a very promising future. The Westrock management team will be the largest equity owners in our Company, and my fellow shareholders in Riverview Acquisition Corp. and my partners in the PIPE investment are delighted to become part of the Westrock family.”

– R. Brad Martin, CEO of Riverview

Disclaimer: This content is intended for informational purposes. Before making any investment, you should do your own analysis.

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