May 2, 2012

Associated Brands Merges with North American Tea & Coffee

Toronto, Ontario – Associated Brands a leading North American supplier of private-label and co-manufactured packaged foods and beverage products, today announced that it has completed a merger with North American Tea & Coffee Inc. (“NATC”), a Vancouver-based manufacturer of specialty tea and dry mix products. This announcement comes on the heels of the Associated Brands’ announcement of its acquisition of Soluble Products in January 2012.

This merger broadens and strengthens Associated Brands Private Label business, adding a portfolio of leading market positions and capabilities including ready to serve oatmeal and the fast-growing market for specialty teas.

The merger with NATC further strengthens our position as a partner of choice, both within the private label industry as well as the growing co-manufacturing sector,” said CEO Scott Greenwood.“As the largest independent specialty tea manufacturer, NATC leverages Associated Brands into a very relevant category which is being driven by a younger demographic and their orientation to health and wellness”.

We are looking forward to working with Scott and his team to capitalize on the respective strengths of the two companies in order to benefit our current and prospective customers,” commented Riyaz Devji, Managing Director for NATC.

Associated Brands has two manufacturing and R&D facilities serving customers in Canada, the U.S., the Caribbean and Mexico​.In addition to its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Medina, New York, the merger will add manufacturing facilities in British Columbia and Ontario, Canada.

The combined company, operating under the name Associated Brands, will offer products which are BRC and Kosher Certified by OU and BCK, and Organic Certified by QAI, SQF level III and NHP. For more information about Associated Brands see www​.asso​ci​at​ed​brands​.com.

About Associated Brands 

Associated Brands is a leading North American manufacturer and supplier of private-label packaged food and beverage products that sells to most of the largest North American food retailers. Associated Brands’ principal focus is on manufacturing dry packaged food products such as hot and cold drink mixes, soups, bouillon, side dishes and sweeteners, nutritional and weight management products. The Company’s customer driven R&D process, adoption of leading technologies and development of products that deliver great value has enabled it to become one of the largest suppliers of private-label dry packaged food products. Following the closing of the transaction, Associated Brands continues to be majority owned by TorQuest Partners, a leading Canadian private equity firm.

About TorQuest Partners 

Founded in 2002, TorQuest Partners is a Canadian-based manager of private equity funds. With more than C$700 million of equity capital under management TorQuest seeks to pursue investments in middle market companies with the goal of working in close partnership with management to build value. To learn more about TorQuest Partners, visit www​.torquest​.com.

About NATC

Founded in 1977, NATC is a Vancouver based manufacturer of specialty teas and dry mix products, serving some of the largest retail and food service companies in North America.