Post buys PowerBar

by Eric Schroeder
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ST. LOUIS — Post Holdings, Inc. continued its expansion in the active nutrition category with the announcement it has agreed to acquire the PowerBar and Musashi brands and related worldwide assets from Nestle S.A., Vevey, Switzerland. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Post said it plans to combine the PowerBar and Musashi brands with its current active nutrition portfolio to form a singular Active Nutrition Group with expected annualized revenue approaching $550 million. The global active nutrition category is expected to remain strong with the category projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 7% between 2014 and 2017, according to Euromonitor.

The PowerBar and Musashi brands manufacture and market premium bars, powders and gels in geographies that represent more than 90% of global category sales, according to Euromonitor. PowerBar, the first energy bar created by athletes for athletes nearly 30 years ago, was and was acquired by Nestle in 2000. Musashi is a leading sports nutrition brand in Australia and enjoys leading levels of awareness among its target audience, physically active males.

Capital has been invested in the business over the past seven years, and manufacturing capacity exists in the United States, Germany and Australia to meet projected demand for the next three to five years. Post management believes that PowerBar can continue to capitalize on its high brand recognition with focus and innovation.

The PowerBar and Musashi brands will join Premier Nutrition’s Premier Protein and Joint Juice brands (which Post agreed to acquire last August) and Dymatize Enterprises’ Dymatize and Supreme brands (which Post agreed to acquire last December).

The combined portfolio will provide the Active Nutrition Group access to all channels of sales and distribution as well as all leading product forms, including bars, shakes and powders, while expanding its presence worldwide.

David Ritterbush, president and chief executive officer of Premier Nutrition, and Greg Venner, president and c.e.o. of Dymatize, will serve as co-c.e.o.s of the Active Nutrition Group within Post, reporting to Terence E. Block, president and chief operating officer of Post.

“It’s truly exciting to continue the transformation of Post and to increase the role active nutrition will play in that transformation,” said William P. Stiritz, chairman and chief executive officer. “I’m confident that the talented associates joining Post from Nestle will make a powerful contribution towards this continued transformation.”

The transaction is expected to be completed in Post’s fiscal third quarter, subject to customary closing conditions. Post expects to fund the acquisition with cash on hand.

The transactions continue an active acquisition period for Post Holdings over the past year. In December, Post agreed to pay more than $680 million for Golden Boy Foods Ltd. and Dymatize Enterprises, L.L.C. In September, the company agreed to acquire Dakota Growers Pasta Company, Inc. from Viterra, Inc. for $370 million. Dakota Growers Pasta manufactures a full line of dry pastas for retail, food service and food processors, including whole grain and organic items. In August, the company agreed to acquire the Premier Nutrition Corp., Emeryville, Calif., for $180 million. In late May the company acquired the branded and private label cereal, granola and snack assets of Hearthside Food Solutions L.L.C., Downers Grove, Ill., for $158 million, and in January Post acquired Attune Foods, San Francisco, for an undisclosed amount.

For Nestle, the sale continues its trend of shedding businesses that don’t fit its focus of dealing with what has become a fast-changing competitive landscape across geographies and categories. Last November, Nestle sold its Jenny Craig weight management business in North America and Oceania to North Castle Partners L.L.C., a Greenwich, Conn.-based private equity firm.
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