Maximuscle, the leading sports nutrition company that helped Josh Lewsey score a try for England in the semi-final of this year’s Rugby World Cup, has been bought for £75 million in a secondary buy-out, backed by Darwin Private Equity. The newly formed mid-market private equity firm. Maximuscle’s management were advised by Simon Cope-Thompson from Livingstone Partners’ Consumer Team.
Watford-based Maximuscle, which was founded in 1995 by 34-year-old former bodybuilder Zef Eisenberg, makes high-protein products which are widely used by fitness and gym enthusiasts as well as international rugby players. The company claims a share of about 32% of the U.K.’s £125 million sports nutrition market and sells through the Internet as well as through supermarkets and high street retailers. Maximuscle has seen its top line grow by about 20% a year for the past three years since the original buy-out was completed in 2004 in a £10 million deal led by Piper Private Equity, the consumer brands-focused investor.
Having attracted strong interest from strategic buyers and private equity investors, the management team turned to Livingstone to help guide them through the latter stages of the sale process.
John, Maximuscle’s Finance Director commented: “The Livingstone team did a great deal to facilitate this transaction. Their knowledge and advice proved invaluable, and their sensible approach ensured a relatively painless experience for management and at the same time secured the best possible terms, working closely with our advisers on the sell side as well as Darwin”.
Simon Cope-Thompson, Partner of Livingstone, said: “We have followed the development and success of Maximuscle, since the original buy-out in 2004. The company is one of the most exciting independent consumer businesses in our space, and has grown rapidly by fully utilising the combined strength of its brand profile and product range, with the benefits of its multi-channel approach to the market. We are delighted we were chosen to work with management on the deal and believe that with Darwin’s support the company will continue to go from strength to strength”.
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