KILKENNY, IRELAND — Global nutrition group Glanbia P.L.C. has reached an agreement to acquire SlimFast and its sister company HNS from Kainos Capital in a transaction valued at $350 million.
Headquartered in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., SlimFast is a weight management and health and wellness brand whose products include ready-to-drink and ready-to-mix powder products as well as high protein, high fiber, gluten-free meal replacement shakes and smoothies. The company’s products are distributed primarily in retail channels across the United States and the United Kingdom. SlimFast had adjusted EBITDA of $24 million in fiscal 2017 on sales of $212 million.
Glanbia said it plans to operate SlimFast as part of its Performance Nutrition segment.
“I am pleased to announce that we have agreed to acquire SlimFast, a leading consumer brand in the $8 billion weight management nutrition market, an adjacency to the Glanbia Performance Nutrition brand portfolio,” said Siobhán Talbot, group managing director of Glanbia. “SlimFast is an established and enduring brand and, along with nutritional supplements brands Healthy Delights and Nu-Therapy, complements our existing portfolio targeting lifestyle consumers. It plays to global consumer trends focused on convenient formats and snacking. The transaction is in line with our strategic ambition to extend the reach of our Glanbia Performance Nutrition portfolio to related consumer needs.”
Kainos acquired SlimFast from Unilever in 2014. Andrew S. Rosen, managing partner of Kainos, said the private equity firm has done “a great job revitalizing what was an orphan brand within a large multinational company” over the past four years.
“Our acquisition of SlimFast came with no employees or systems,” Mr. Rosen said. “Behind the leadership of (chief executive officer) Chris Tisi, who we partnered with when we invested in his company HNS in 2014, we quickly built a 60-plus person team in the U.S. and the U.K.”
Robert W. Sperry, a partner at Kainos, added, “Chris led our very talented team in the development of a comprehensive game plan for restoring SlimFast to its former success. This included redesigning the packaging across the product range and leveraging the great clinical studies that demonstrate the effectiveness of its products. We also relaunched advertising campaigns that resonated with our consumers and supported innovative new product platforms. The result was a dramatic turnaround in the sales trajectory such that for the last three years SlimFast was the fastest-growing brand in the weight management category in the U.S. and the largest brand in the U.K.”
The transaction is expected to close before the end of 2018.