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Westrock Coffee Going Public Through SPAC Deal

3 min read

Westrock Coffee Co. LLC of Little Rock on Monday announced that it’s going public through a deal with Riverview Acquisition Corp. of Memphis (Nasdaq: RVACU) that places the coffee, tea and extract company’s value at $1.086 billion.

Westrock said the deal will allow it to accelerate work on its ready-to-drink packaging facility at the former Kimberly-Clark plant in Conway, a $100 million-plus project announced in December.

The transaction prices shares at $10, representing 1.1 times Westrock’s projected 2022 revenue of $960 million and about 14.5 times projected 2022 adjusted EBITDA of $75 million, Westrock said in a news release.

The deal includes private investment in public equity commitments totaling about $250 million, including $60 million from Riverview CEO Brad Martin and $25 million from Westrock’s founders.

Other commitments include $78 million from HF Capital, the Haslam family investment office, and funds managed by Southeastern Asset Management.

The deal is expected to close by the end of the third quarter. After a refinancing of Westrock’s debt, the company will have an expected net cash position of approximately $120 million, according to the release.

As part of the deal, Westrock will convert into a corporation and all of its existing shareholders will roll 100% of their shares into the new company. Those shareholders will hold about 53% of the shares of the combined company on closing.

Westrock will be listed on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “WEST.”

The boards of directors of Westrock and Riverview have unanimously approved the transaction, the release says. 

Westrock co-founder and CEO Scott Ford called it a milestone for the company. He said the company decided to go public after meeting with Martin, 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,” Ford said in the release.

Martin said the blank check company, which launched last year, had been seeking a partner with tangible growth prospects, a solid market position with competitive strengths, and a management team ready to take a company public, among other factors. 

“I’ve long admired the Ford family, and because of my respect for them, I approached them about the possibility of partnering with Riverview,” Martin said in the release. “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.”

Westrock topped Arkansas Business’ inaugural list of the largest private investment offerings ranked by total investment amount sold.

The company has offices in 10 countries and sources coffee and tea from 35 origin countries. Last year, it completed work on a new 90,000-SF facility north of Singapore that will enhance its coffee roasting capacity and accommodate for increases in manufacturing, packaging and warehousing in the Asia-Pacific and Middle East-North Africa regions.

Westrock announced last month that the company and its subsidiary S&D Coffee & Tea are rebranding and will begin providing service under the same moniker: Westrock Coffee.

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