NEXT Proteins has sold several of their brands off to a new company including its popular Designer Whey brand of protein products. Three private equity firms—GarMark Partners, Northwood Ventures and Stockton Road Capital—financed the acquisition, creating a new company in the process. The new company is called Athena Wellness Brands. Now the world famous “Designer Protein” will be a subsidiary. Other brands acquired include Aria women’s protein products and a line of Designer Whey weight management mixes with the trademarked Biggest Loser reality show from NBC on it’s packaging.
What Does This Mean For The Staff?
The majority of NEXT Protein’s staff and management will join the new company, though NEXT Protein’s still maintains assets and it will continue to develop and market these on the side.
Other Companies Selling?
This deal is part of a recent raft of private equity investments in the sports nutrition area, as the market has experienced a flurry of mergers and acquisitions over the past year. In January 2011, a company called TA Associates invested an undisclosed amount in Dymatize. In another deal MHP received equity investments from Star Avenue Capital and Stockton Road.
According to Cyrill Siewart, new CEO and chairman of Designer Protein, Designer Whey was attractive from an acquisition standpoint because it’s the premier protein powder on the market.
“Designer Whey has a well-established market position, has very high quality—both from a protein perspective and an aesthetic point of view—and we feel that it has been under-marketed for a very long time,” Siewart said.