First Bev Announces Sale of Essentia to Nestlé

First Bev, a private equity firm focused exclusively on the beverage industry with offices in Los Angeles and New York, is pleased to announce the sale of Essentia Water, a premium functional water brand, to Nestlé USA.  Since the time of First Bev’s investment, Essentia has grown to become the leading alkaline water in the U.S. and has created an unrivaled brand platform focused on hydration and performance. 

“I am proud of our team and grateful for everyone who has supported us in creating Essentia,” said Essentia founder Ken Uptain.  “I was grateful to have Bill Anderson, Jack Belsito and the First Bev team as an investor and advisor for many years.  They not only had a deep understanding of the beverage business but they also truly valued and appreciated the brand and the company I was working hard to create.”

“Essentia exemplifies the success that can be achieved through a strong vision and the expertise to execute on a winning strategy,” said Bill Anderson, founder of First Bev.  “We saw an opportunity to add real value and to partner with an outstanding executive team led by Ken Uptain, a smart and committed founder.  We are excited and grateful for what Ken and his team were able to create with Essentia, and we look forward to its continued success with Nestlé.” 

Essentia uses a proprietary process to ionize water, delivering a clean, smooth taste and a pH of 9.5 or higher.  Early on, Essentia recognized the benefits of healthy hydration and the emerging health and wellness trends.   The Essentia brand has evolved to become a very powerful connector to a diverse and loyal consumer community. 

“This is what can happen when you combine a great brand, an outstanding team, and highly aligned investors,” added Jack Belsito, managing partner of First Bev.  “Nestle is getting a gem.”

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.


About First Bev

First Bev invests in innovative and transformational beverage brands, helping beverage companies grow and stand out in a dynamic and competitive industry.  We form true partnerships with our portfolio companies and their leaders by leveraging our financial and intellectual capital, bringing deep domain expertise in the beverage industry.  Headquartered in Los Angeles with offices in New York, the First Bev team is made up of beverage executives and entrepreneurs as well as seasoned investment professionals with decades of collective industry experience.  For more information please visit