Private Equity Pitch: European vitamins and supplements companies watchlist

24 May 2021

The Private Equity Pitch identifies private equity-owned portfolio companies which are ripe for an exit in a particular sector and/or geography. You can receive the Pitch by creating a new alert with the “Private Equity Pitch” topic and find previous pieces under the “Private Equity Pitch” on the homepage. 

“Health comes first” and “real beauty comes from within” are expressions that resonate with most people. But during a pandemic it is not surprising that such old adages are being taken to a whole new level, or at least this is what a growth seen in vitamins and supplements intake indicates.


In the UK a quarter of consumers is believed to have increased their use of supplements to boost their immune system as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, a study shows. Vitamins in beauty products, such as facial and skin care, have also become even trendier during lockdowns.


Large players are looking to seize the moment to lead consolidation of a fairly fragmented market, as in the case of Cambridge Nutraceuticals, a UK premium health supplements developer and retailer, which told Mergermarket last month it could acquire to enter new market segments.  


Small, sometimes family-owned, businesses are trying to capitalise on their recent revenue boost to attract investors. Late last year, Absolute Collagen, a UK-based collagen drink brand, tapped Alantra to manage talks with potential investors, as reported.


Even taking the pandemic out of the equation, the increase in use of vitamins and dietary supplements is part of a long-term trend, with sector growth forecast at 4.4% between 2018 and 2023, according to a PwC report.


Investors are particularly interested in businesses with strong brands, good margins and a strong direct to consumer channels.


Sponsors will see this as a good time to exit assets for good returns but also to enter a growing sector. Earlier this month, private equity firm Verdane brought to market MM Sports, its Swedish retailer of dietary supplements, while CapMan acquired Finnish nutrition supplements company Pharmia Oy.


Mergermarket has identified five European vitamin companies held by sponsors for a minimum of 32 months that may be ripe for exit.


Natura Vitalis – Lead Equities Unternehmensberatungs- und Beteiligungs (Held 85 months)

The deal: In February 2014, Austria-based Lead Equities Unternehmensberatungs- und Beteiligungs acquired Natura Vitalis, a Germany-based online retailer of nutrition supplements
Fund: The investment was made via Lead Equities II, which closed in October 2008 at EUR 66m, per Mergermarket sister publication Unquotedata 
Company’s financial: USD 0.42m (EUR 0.70m) revenue in 2019
Senior management: CEO Frank Felte

Nutrilinea – White Bridge Investments (Held 44 months)

The deal: In July 2017, Italian investment holding White Bridge Investments acquired an undisclosed majority stake worth EUR 40m in Nutrilinea, an Italy-based producer of food supplements and medical devices from RS Consulting
Company’s financial: USD 51.61m (EUR 46.65m) revenue in 2019
Add-on acquisitions: Italy-based Pharcoterm (2018), Apharm (2019), Claire (2019), Biofarma (2019)
Senior management: CEO Maurizio Castorina, CFO & ICT Manager Morris Maracin
Competitors: Fine Foods & Pharmaceuticals


Puori – Juggernaut Capital Partners (Held 32 months)

The deal: In July 2018, US-based Juggernaut Capital Partners acquired a 46% stake in Puori, a Denmark-based manufacturer of nutritional supplements
Fund: The investment was made via Juggernaut Capital Partners IV, which was announced in March 2018 and closed in March 2019 at USD 408m (EUR 363m), according to Mergermarket
Company’s financial: USD 0.14m (EUR 0.11m) revenue 2020
Senior Management: CEO – Founder Oliver Amdrup, CFO Micheal Witt


Supernaturals – Nordwind Capital (Held 32 months)

The deal: In July 2018, Germany-based Nordwind Capital acquired an undisclosed majority stake in Supernaturals, a Germany-based manufacturer of natural and vegan food supplements
Fund: The investment was made via Nordwind Capital Partners, which was closed in March 2004 at EUR 300m, according to Mergermarket
Most frequent advisers: Milbank (3 deals) 


Evergreen Life Products– Palladio Finanziaria (Held 32 months)

The deal: In July 2018, Palladio Finanziaria acquired an undisclosed stake in Evergreen Life Products, an Italy-based manufacturer and distributor of natural food supplements from the Pesle Family, which retained a stake in the company
Fund: The investment was made via Venice European Investments, which closed in May 2011 at EUR 500m, according to Mergermarket
Company’s financial: USD 19.33m (EUR 17.47m) revenue 2019, EUR 478m 2020
Senior management: CEO Luigi Pesle
Most frequent advisers: Globalscope Partners (4 deals), Orsingher Ortu – Avvocati Associati (4 deals)

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