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Electronic cigarette brand NJOY has received a $20 million investment from Catterton Partners, a consumer-focused private equity firm with a portfolio that includes Kettle Foods, Odwalla, and Sweet Leaf Tea.
The investment, which is being made by Catterton Growth Partners, L.P., will be used to accelerate NJOY’s brand awareness, growth and other business development opportunities.
“NJOY and Catterton are a terrific fit, as both companies are the ‘Gold Standard’ in their respective businesses,” said Craig Weiss, president and CEO of NJOY. “We welcome Catterton not just as an investor, but as a strategic partner that can help take NJOY to the next level.”
According to NJOY Roy Anise, who spoke with Progressive Grocer shortly after the announcement, the investment resulted from NJOY’s leadership in the category, the background of its managerial team, which includes decades of tobacco-company executive experience as well as investment experience. “It also came from our success against the FDA which led to the creation of the category,” said Anise. “Initially the FDA wanted to regulate electronic cigarettes as a medical or drug product, but NJOY fought this in court with the result of having it placed in the other tobacco product category.”
Catterton Partners is banking on its investment to continue the momentum of its market leadership in the category. “NJOY is a market leader with outstanding products that have significant consumer appeal and are poised for broader acceptance in the marketplace,” said Michael Farello, a partner of Catterton Partners. “With its wide network of distribution partners, deep new product pipeline and a strong executive team, NJOY is positioned for significant growth. We look forward to working with NJOY and utilizing our financial and operational resources – as well as our expertise in consumer products – to support the company’s long-term business plans and success.”
“Catterton chooses only the best companies in which to invest, as evidenced by the firm’s outstanding track record,” added Anise. “With Catterton’s help, their portfolio companies have significantly increased their brand strength, distribution and market share, and these are the same goals that we have for NJOY.”
Scottsdale, Ariz.-based NJOY is available in over 20,000 retail locations nationwide including more than half of the nation’s top 20 convenience store chains. It offers a variety of rechargeable and non-rechargeable electronic cigarette products made for adult smokers. According to NJOY, these products provide nicotine and rich tobacco and menthol flavor without smoke or odor, and cost less than traditional cigarettes to use.