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Vet-owned Black Rifle Coffee to go public via $1.7B SPAC deal

Black Rifle Coffee Company's AK-47 Espresso blend coffee. (Black Rifle Coffee Company/Facebook)
November 02, 2021

The veteran-owned and military-oriented coffee company Black Rifle Coffee is set to become a publicly-traded company through a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) called SilverBox-Engaged. The Wall Street Journal reported the merger will give the company about $1.7 billion in value.

On Tuesday, the company tweeted, “Big things are brewing this week. We’re going public in partnership with SilverBox-Engaged — more coffee, more Veteran hiring, and more support for Veterans’ organizations #brcc #americascoffee.”

Black Rifle Coffee Company has built its brand through products geared toward the military community, such as its AK-47 Espresso and Silencer Smooth blends. The company has also caught attention for its military-themed marketing campaign with videos such as mounting an M61 Vulcan cannon from an F-16 onto a Prius and multiple iterations of how combat veterans would react in horror movie scenarios.

Black Rifle Coffee Company has also carried over its military-focused image to its hiring practices. Approximately half of the company’s current employees are veterans.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Black Rifle Coffee founder and U.S. Army Green Beret veteran Evan Hafer said he expects to continue hiring veterans by taking the company public.

“This just reaffirms my commitment to that promise,” Hafer said.

Through the SPAC deal with SilverBox-Engaged, Black Rifle Coffee will reorganize as a public benefit corporation, a for-profit business model that also focuses some of its revenue toward serving the public.

“We want to do well for ourselves and do good for our community,” Joe Reece, SilverBox-Engaged’s executive chairman, told the Wall Street Journal.

In a Tuesday press release, the company said, “This deal will give us significant resources to invest and grow even faster.”

The company further announced that with going public its plans to expand its physical storefront locations from the current seven to 78 in 2023, expanding the distribution of its direct-to-consumer line of ready-to-drink products and overall improving the company’s technology infrastructure. “All of this will help support our efforts to meet our goal of hiring 10,000 Veterans.”

The company said, “Our culture and mission are built on serving Veterans, active military, first responders, and those who love America, and nothing is EVER going to change that.”

“We may be a public company one day soon, but we are definitely NOT going corporate!” the press release added. “You may be wondering what this means for Black Rifle and what we do every day. The answer is, not much will change day-to-day. We will remain focused on our mission of serving great coffee and serving Veterans and keep doing what’s made us successful so far. The transaction will help us do the most important things even better, but it won’t change who we are. In fact, it will do just the opposite. It will help fulfill our vision of what Black Rifle can become.”

In addition to growing its products lines and expanding to seven physical storefronts, Black Rifle Company also launched its own military and veteran-themed magazine, Coffee or Die.