A Veteran-focused, Assault Rifle-Themed Coffee Brand is Worth $1.7 Billion

Some prefer their coffee to have an acidic liveliness in the aftertaste, balancing against the citrus aroma and the full body perfected by rich volcanic soils.

Others are partial to a cup of freedom. For them, there’s Black Rifle Coffee — an extremely patriotic and somewhat pricey brand aimed at gun-toting ’Muricans — which announced Tuesday that it’s going public by combining with a SPAC at a $1.7 billion valuation.

Patriotism Percolating

Salt Lake City-based Black Rifle — whose marketing plays like Team America World Police — was founded by a former Green Beret and has pledged to one day hire 10,000 veterans. It still has a long way to go to reach that goal — half its 600 employees went from serving their country to serving espresso — but its plans to reorganize as a public-benefit corporation makes supporting veterans’ causes a good bet.

Of course, there is nothing stopping Black Rifle from making Youtube videos advocating for open-carry laws permitting enough guns to make Rambo look like a pacifist, which appears to be good for business:

  • Black Rifle says its sales will grow 40% to roughly $230 million this year. It makes most of its revenue online, but has a handful of physical stores and sells in Walmart and other big box stores.
  • Black Rifle will also raise $100 million in a private investment in public equity, or PIPE, tied to the deal, with hedge fund Engaged Capital throwing in another $100 million.

Safety On: Lately, investors in SPAC mergers — which started the year red hot and then fell into a volatile pit — have taken off when shares fell below the list price, leaving deals in limbo. To stave off the problem, Black Rifle’s SPAC — SilverBox — raised extra capital in case investors bail on them before the deal closes. The SPAC has $345 million on hand.

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