North Castle takes control of Atkins Nutritional

by Jeff Gelski
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GREENWICH, CONN. — North Castle Partners and its co-investors and certain management team members have acquired a controlling interest in Atkins Nutritional Holdings, Inc. Terms of the investment were not announced.

Monty Sharma, former chief executive officer of both EAS and Naked Juice, will become c.e.o. of Atkins Nutritional, Ronkonkoma, N.Y. Mr. Sharma led Naked Juice, a former North Castle company, until it was sold to PepsiCo, Inc., Purchase, N.Y., in January. He led EAS, a competitor of Atkins Nutritional and a former North Castle company, until it was sold to Abbott Laboratories in 2004. Greenwich-based North Castle is a private equity firm focused on investments in consumer-driven product and service businesses that benefit from healthy living and aging trends.

Atkins Nutritional emerged from bankruptcy in January 2006 and introduced a new business strategy of providing portable foods with nutritional benefits. Atkins Nutritional offers nutrition bars and ready-to-drink shakes under its Atkins Advantage brands and confectionery products under its Atkins Endulge brands in about 30,000 U.S. retail locations.

"We are excited about the Atkins acquisition as our latest nutrition platform investment, particularly given its focus on the pervasive weight management industry and the increasing consumer interest in health and weight issues," said Chip Baird, North Castle’s founder and managing partner. "We believe that Atkins is a strong brand with tremendous opportunity for growth."

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