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Farmer Brothers of Fort Worth buys Arizona tea company

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Farmer Bros. Co., a national coffee roaster, wholesaler and distributor of coffee, tea and culinary products, said Sept. 12 it will acquire all the assets of premium tea manufacturer and distributor China Mist Brands Inc. for $10.8 million, plus a performance-based payment of $0.5 million if certain sales levels are achieved in calendar years 2017 and 2018.

Farmer Brothers plans to operate China Mist as an independent subsidiary. China Mist will continue to operate from its Scottsdale, Ariz., offices.

The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of fiscal 2017 subject to certain closing conditions.

Founded in 1982 by Dan Schweiker and John Martinson, China Mist has more than 20,000 foodservice locations.

“We believe that China Mist is an excellent strategic fit for Farmer Brothers,” said Mike Keown, CEO of Farmer Brothers. “The addition of a strong premium tea brand with established consumer appeal, a portfolio of exceptional product offerings and a culture of sustainable practices complements our current brand portfolio. We look forward to welcoming the China Mist management team and employees to the Farmer Brothers business.”

Founded in 1912, Farmer Bros. Co. offers organic, direct trade and sustainably-produced coffee for restaurants, hotels, casinos, offices, quick service restaurants, convenience stores, health care facilities and other foodservice providers as well as private brand retailers. The company generated net sales of more than $500 million in fiscal 2015 and has over 1,600 employees nationwide. The company recently relocated to Northlake, but counts Fort Worth as its headquarters. 

Farmer Bros. Co. is traded on the Nasdaq under the symbol FARM.

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