Arkansas Coffee Company to Go Public in Business Combination With Riverview

In a business combination with Riverview Acquisition Corp., Arkansas-based Westrock Coffee Holdings LLC announced in April that it will go public, launching an initial public offering at $10 per share.

The transaction values the coffee, tea, and extracts company at about $1.1 billion and will deliver about $500 million in gross cash proceeds, with no redemptions by Riverview shareholders. Westrock said its existing shareholders will roll their shares into the combined company.

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The new entity, headed by former Alltel Chief Executive Officer Scott Ford, will be named Westrock Coffee Company. Riverview is a year-old special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) based in Memphis. The arrangement is expected to accelerate construction of the largest roasting-to-cup facility in the U.S., expand business into Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East, and target strategic acquisitions.

Westrock is a purpose-driven company that serves major brands through sustainable sourcing and digitally traceable supply chain management.

“(The deal) represents a truly important milestone in Westrock Coffee’s journey,” Ford told Talk Business & Politics, which covers news in Arkansas. “We started Westrock Coffee when we saw the need for coffee farmers in Rwanda to earn a living wage and realized that a new business model for the industry could enable this outcome while being self-sustaining and unreliant on the vagaries of charity or consumer price premiums.”

The company’s goal is to deliver high-quality coffee, tea, and extracts to the largest and most recognizable names in the beverage industry and make a positive economic impact in the lives of partner farmers, Ford said.

“(Westrock is) a merger partner in an attractive business with tangible growth prospects in which we could invest, a solid market position with competitive strengths, and an experienced, public company-ready management team that has demonstrated a commitment to maximizing value while operating with the highest level of integrity,” Ford said.

The combined company will be headquartered in central Arkansas.