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Long Island Iced Tea to stay on the Island, says incoming co-CEO

William Hayde, executive vice president and co-founder of InterContinental Beverage Capital, said the business being sold by Long Blockchain Corp. will remain in Farmingdale.

William Hayde, executive vice president and co-founder of

William Hayde, executive vice president and co-founder of InterContinental Beverage Capital, at the AgTech, Food, and Beverage Capital Forum hosted by the Long Island Capital Alliance in Melville on Friday. Photo Credit: Barry Sloan

The Long Island Iced Tea business being sold by Long Blockchain Corp. will remain on Long Island, the unit's incoming co-chief executive said.

William Hayde, executive vice president and co-founder of InterContinental Beverage Capital Inc., a merchant bank that serves the beverage industry, will share the CEO job with John Carson, chairman of InterContinental.

In an interview Friday, Hayde said the company will stay put in Farmingdale.

In a separate interview, Andy Shape, CEO of Long Blockchain, said the sale will close once it clears regulatory approval. He said there are no plans to move Long Blockchain off Long Island either.

Hayde said he, Carson and Tom Cardella — who will become chairman of the board of Long Island Brand Beverages LLC, which does business as Long Island Iced Tea — have been working for months behind the scenes to stabilize the beverage business. 

Cardella is a former executive at MillerCoors, a majority-owned unit of Denver beer giant Molson Coors Brewing Co.

In January, Long Blockchain announced a tentative deal to sell the iced tea business to a Vancouver investment company, ECC Ventures 2 Corp., and replace ECC's listing on a tier of the Toronto Stock Exchange.  

Shares of Long Blockchain closed Monday at 33 cents, up 3.1 percent. Twelve months ago, the stock was trading at $2.80.

In an interview at a Long Island Capital Alliance event in Melville, Hayde said Long Island Iced Tea had been sacrificing profits in a bid to gain market share, an unsustainable strategy for a company with capital constraints.

Recent changes to the business model have brought the company, which bottles its beverages in Brooklyn, "close to break even," he said.

In July 2018, Shape was named CEO of Long Blockchain and the company announced it was forming a subsidiary, Stran Loyalty Group, focused on loyalty and gift card programs in partnership with Quincy, Massachusetts-based Stran & Co. Inc., where Shape is president.

"Long Blockchain will continue its existing business looking for opportunities in disruptive technology like blockchain and artificial intelligence to apply to our businesses like Stran Loyalty Group," he said.

In December, Long Blockchain entered into a joint venture with Entrex Holding Co., based in Boca Raton, Florida, to create a blockchain-enabled platform to research, trade and settle financial assets.

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