Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (January 25, 2021) — Oliver Wine Co, Inc. (“Oliver Winery,” “Oliver” or the “Company”) and NexPhase Capital, LP (“NPC,” “NexPhase” or the “Firm”) today announced that they have signed a definitive agreement for NexPhase to invest in Oliver Winery. The transaction is expected to close in early 2021.
Founded in 1972, Oliver Winery is now one of the largest wineries in the U.S. with over 700,000 cases sold in 2020. Oliver’s high-quality, innovative and consumer-focused approach to winemaking continues to attract new fans across the U.S. with products such as Oliver Blueberry Moscato. Boosted by its enhanced footprint, increased points of distribution and partnerships with national retailers, Oliver Winery finished 2020 with 40% year-over-year growth.
The Company is poised to continue its rapid growth and innovation. The commitment of Oliver Winery’s existing employees will now be supported by NexPhase’s financial backing and industry expertise. Oliver Winery’s headquarters, including its world-class tasting room and winemaking, will remain in Bloomington, Indiana. Founding family member Bill Oliver will remain deeply involved with the company on the board of directors. Julie Adams, current Company president, will assume the role of CEO.
“We have an incredible, dedicated team, and together we’ve grown Oliver Winery into a national, respected brand,” said Oliver. “NexPhase is a dream-come-true new partner. They’re smart, good people, who will bring even better resources to the table. We couldn’t be more excited about what’s next.”
— Julie Adams, Oliver Winery CEO
“It’s always been a point of pride for us that the winery’s success benefits our hardworking, loyal employees,” said Adams. “I am confident that this transaction will benefit all of our stakeholders, including our customers and especially our employees. This is the beginning of a new, exciting chapter for our team, and we are thrilled to continue to build on our strong foundation with the support of NexPhase.”
Jamie Kaufman, a Partner at NexPhase, said: “NexPhase is committed to protecting and nurturing the exceptional company culture and brand that has made Oliver Winery a leader and innovator in the wine industry. We look forward to partnering with the Oliver team to support their industry leading growth and intend to continue to invest in their facility in Bloomington, Indiana.”
Kaufman and NPC Operating Partner Doug Corbett will join the company’s board of directors. Kaufman leads the Firm’s consumer investing practice and Corbett brings nearly 30 years of consumer operating experience growing and optimizing branded businesses in the U.S., Western Europe and Canada. The NexPhase consumer team focuses on investing in branded CPG companies, including Zing Zang, the leading non-alcoholic cocktail mix brand in the U.S.
About Oliver Winery & Vineyards
Founded in 1972, Oliver Winery continues to innovate in the industry, with fruit-forward, low-ABV wines, such as its Blueberry Moscato — in the top 15 Moscato wines sold in the U.S. in 2020. Oliver’s continued success in the sweet wine market has also been driven by its Soft Wine Collection, specifically Oliver Sweet Red, which has been the #1 selling wine in Indiana and a top-seller in the U.S. for the last 20 years. With its accelerated growth, the Indiana-based winery was recently named to Shanken’s Market Watch “2020 Impact HOT Brand Awards” and ended 2020 as Nielsen’s #66-ranked U.S. wine brand. Oliver is also listed by Travel + Leisure among the top 25 wineries to visit in the U.S.
About NexPhase Capital
NexPhase Capital (“NPC”) is a thematic and operationally-focused private equity firm that invests in lower middle market growth-oriented companies within three distinct sectors: consumer, healthcare, and software & services. The firm partners with companies that have reached a growth inflection point and are seeking a value-add partner to help navigate the company’s “next phase.” For more information, please visit www.NexPhase.com.
“We are proud to represent Indiana as a 100% employee-owned company that brings high-quality, innovative wines to the table," said Julie Adams, Oliver Winery president. "As we join forces with the Colts, we are excited to bring out the best of Indiana with this collection of wines and look forward to future collaborations.”