The Nestlé group repurchased by a canadian group for more than $ 2 billion.
© FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP/ FABRICE COFFRINI
On Tuesday, the giant swiss food Nestlé has announced the takeover of the canadian Atrium Innovations, which specializes in products of nutritional health, with a group of investors led by Permira funds for $ 2.3 billion (€1.9 billion). The operation, which will enable it to expand its portfolio of consumer healthcare products, will be funded in cash and is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2018, subject to regulatory approval, the swiss group said in a statement. Founded in 1999, the company, which is not listed on the stock Exchange, employs about 1,400 people and generates a turnover that is expected to be around $ 700 million in 2017. Specializing in natural supplements, Atrium relies on a portfolio of brands which include Garden of Life, the number on this segment in the United States. This brand, that the company Atrium was itself acquired in 2009, is sold in over 14,000 stores of health products in the United States and is also distributed online.
Its other flagship brand, Pure Encapsulation, encompasses a range of dietary supplements that are hypo-allergenic, GMO-free, without thickening or artificial coloring, sold in the United States by health professionals, online, and in pharmacies in several markets in Europe. “The portfolio of Atrium enlarged our product range with value-added solutions such as probiotics, nutrition-based vegetable protein, meal replacements, and a wide range of multivitamins,” said Greg Behar, director of Nestlé Health Science, is quoted in the press release.
The repositioning of the group
Nestlé has initiated a repositioning of its activities since the German Ulf Mark Schneider, the former boss of the health group Fresenius, has taken the controls in the beginning of the year. In may, Nestlé had first announced that it did not exclude the possibility to sell its business of confectionery in the United States. The group was then multiplied small acquisitions and equity participation to strengthen themselves, especially in prepared dishes and vegetarian cafes, top of the range. The redemption of Atrium marks the first big operation since the taking over of the new boss of Nestlé in January. This redemption is a good example of what the group considers as a “strategy” disciplined ” on categories with strong growth potential on the front of the acquisitions, has pointed to Greg Behar, during a conference call.
The flagship brand of Atrium, Garden of Life, has posted rates of double-digit growth over the past three years, has quickly found its audience in the online distribution and can now be extended to other markets. In addition, this segment is exposed to little competition from retailers ‘ own brands, unlike many categories in the sector of food and beverages, where the big names in the sector have had to compete in recent years with the less expensive products offered by the supermarkets. In mid-September, Mark Schneider has unveiled the main lines of his strategy at a conference for investors. While the group has been targeted by the fund activist Third Point, the new boss of Nestlé had said that they wanted to revive growth by drawing on the major categories of products, while the wedging out more about the new trends of consumption, in particular by strengthening the e-commerce.