Glan­bia to ac­quire SlimFast in €303m deal

Global nu­tri­tion com­pany wants to in­crease ex­po­sure to life­style con­sumers SlimFast a lead­ing brand in the $8bn US weight man­age­ment mar­ket

The Irish Times - Business - - BUSINESS | NEWS - CIARA O’BRIEN and JOE BREN­NAN

Glan­bia has agreed to buy diet brand SlimFast as part of a $350 mil­lion (€303 mil­lion) deal as it seeks to in­crease its ex­po­sure to life­style con­sumers.

The deal to buy the well-known brand from KSF Hold­ings and HNS In­ter­me­di­ate Cor­po­ra­tion will also in­clude nu­tri­tional sup­ple­ment brands Healthy De­lights and Nu-Ther­apy.

SlimFast, based in Palm Beach Gar­dens in Flor­ida, is a lead­ing brand in the $8 bil­lion weight man­age­ment nu­tri­tion mar­ket.

Net sales

In 2017, the com­pany had net sales of $212 mil­lion and ad­justed ebitda of $24 mil­lion. It re­ported a net loss of $12 mil­lion af­ter non-re­cur­ring sup­ply chain tran­si­tion costs.

Con­sumer goods gi­ant Unilever had ac­quired the busi­ness back in 2000 for $2.3 bil­lion, be­fore sell­ing it on four years ago to KFS Hold­ings’ par­ent, US pri­vate eq­uity firm Kainos Cap­i­tal.

Glan­bia’s manag­ing di­rec­tor, Siob­han Tal­bot, said the deal com­ple­mented Glan­bia’s ex­ist­ing port­fo­lio.

“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,” she said.

‘Port­fo­lio of prod­ucts’

Ja­son Molins, an an­a­lyst with Good­body Stock­bro­kers, said: “With a track record of over 40 years, SlimFast has built a port­fo­lio of prod­ucts across a range of cat­e­gories in­clud­ing ready-to-drink and ready-to-mix, as well as nu­tri­tional sup­ple­ment brands.”

Mr Molins wel­comed com­ments from Glan­bia ex­ec­u­tives on a con­fer­ence call on Thurs­day that they were com­fort­able with how the group’s per­for­mance had been in the third quar­ter, ahead of a full trad­ing up­date be­ing is­sued in Novem­ber.

The group cur­rently ex­pects its earn­ings per share to grow at be­tween 5 and 8 per cent this year, ex­clud­ing cur­rency fluc­tu­a­tions.

The deal is ex­pected to close be­fore the end of 2018, sub­ject to reg­u­la­tory ap­proval. Glan­bia said that the trans­ac­tion will be fully fi­nanced by its avail­able bank­ing fa­cil­i­ties, and it is ex­pected to add to net earn­ings from next year.

Davy an­a­lysts Cathal Kenny and Roland French said the deal was Glan­bia’s most sig­nif­i­cant since its 2008 pur­chase of Op­ti­mum Nu­tri­tion, the world’s best-sell­ing whey pro­tein brand to gym-go­ers.

“It is the first time that Glan­bia has ac­quired a sto­ried brand with mass aware­ness,” the Davy an­a­lysts said, adding that they ex­pect the Ir­ish group to boost SlimFast with its own in­no­va­tion and ex­per­tise, which should sus­tain “the con­tin­ued re­ju­ve­na­tion of the brand”.

Glan­bia’s manag­ing di­rec­tor, Siob­han Tal­bot, said the deal com­ple­mented Glan­bia’s ex­ist­ing port­fo­lio. ‘It plays to global con­sumer trends fo­cused on con­ve­nient for­mats and snack­ing’

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