First Beverage Ventures Announces New Team Members

first beverage group

Los Angeles, CA – First Beverage Ventures, the private equity arm of First Beverage Group, is pleased to announce that Kyle Wheeler has joined the firm as managing partner and head of the firm’s investment activities and Kristen Bareuther has joined as managing director.

Prior to joining First Beverage, Mr. Wheeler served as president of Gores Holdings, Inc., a publicly traded acquisition vehicle listed on the NASDAQ which acquired Hostess Brands in partnership with a private investor group. Prior to Gores Holdings, he was responsible for leading the negotiation and execution of acquisitions and divestitures at The Gores Group, a private equity investment firm. Mr. Wheeler began his investment career in New York where he was a principal at a joint family office investment firm established by the Fisher family and the de Gunzburg family, a branch of the Bronfman family, founders of the Seagram Company. Previously he was a member of the mergers & acquisitions, restructuring advisory and merchant banking groups at Gleacher Partners, an advisory and investment firm founded by Eric Gleacher, who previously headed global M&A at Morgan Stanley. He holds a BA in economics and political science from Colgate University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

Kristen Bareuther, who joined the firm in August of this year, most recently served as vice president of corporate development for The Charmer Sunbelt Group, one of the nation’s leading distributors of spirits, fine wines and beer. In addition to leading profit-enhancing initiatives across the 13 state enterprise as a member of the executive team, she advised executive management and the board of directors on growth and acquisition strategies during a period in which the group acquired partner interests in five companies and executed a transformational merger resulting in the creation of the second largest wine & spirits distributor in the country, Breakthru Beverage Group. During her tenure at The Charmer Sunbelt Group, Ms. Bareuther also served as an elected board member of the Council for Leadership Development at the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America. Prior to joining The Charmer Sunbelt Group, she managed cross functional teams for two marquee accounts at Hal Riney & Partners. Ms. Bareuther received a BA in political science and international relations at the University of California, Los Angeles and an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

“We could not be more pleased with these new additions to our private equity team,” said Bill Anderson, founder and CEO of First Beverage Group. “The diverse skill sets of our current and new team members will be a significant benefit to our existing portfolio companies and will allow us to source and execute dynamic new investments for our fund. On behalf of our entire firm, our board of directors and our advisory board, we are honored to have Kyle and Kristen as new members of our team.”

“I was immediately drawn to the passion and commitment of Bill and the team he has assembled at First Beverage,” Mr. Wheeler added. “The opportunity to build upon the success of the firm from a strong foundation and to continue its growth and development is highly exciting, and we look forward to taking further steps to enhance the capabilities, expertise and value proposition of the firm as a trusted investment partner in the beverage space.”

About First Beverage Group
First Beverage Group advises and invests in innovative and transformational beverage brands. Through our investment bank and private equity fund, First Beverage helps beverage companies grow and stand out in a dynamic and competitive industry. We form true partnerships with our clients by leveraging both our financial and intellectual capital. Headquartered in Los Angeles with offices in New York, the First Beverage team is made up of entrepreneurial senior beverage executives with over 200 years of collective industry experience. For more information, please visit the company’s website, www.firstbeveragegroup.com. 

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