Argos Wityu announces the acquisition of Natural Distribution
Paris, 23rd April 2013 – Argos Wityu announces the acquisition of the Natural Distribution. group, the European specialist in food supplements based on plants and components of natural origin, in a BIMBO transaction alongside the management team, led by Nigel Henton. Founded 25 years ago by Jean and Maryse Estienne, Natural Distribution develops and distributes food supplements based on plants and components of natural origin in pharmacies and specialist shops. Focused on the wellbeing and health segments, the group has chosen not to address the beauty or the weight-loss segments. The Head office, the R&D team and the logistic platform are based in Ashford (United Kingdom). The group employs 124 people and has a turnover of approximately 32m€.
The R&D strategy is centred on complex products, combining several plants, vitamins and minerals with rigorous attention paid to the quality of the ingredients. Among the group’s umbrella brands are Santé Verte, distributed exclusively in pharmacies and para-pharmacies, which includes flagship products such as Circulymphe, (blood and lymphatic circulation), Acti’Rub (winter ailments) as well as Somni’Phyt (insomnia). The transaction was initiated at a time when the Sellers wished progressively to transfer the management of the company to the management team led by Nigel Henton.
A new Financial Director and a Business Development Director have been recruited to reinforce the team. « The development of the group since its creation and its current performance are the result of constancy in the quality of our products, ensured by the particular care given to their formulation and to the selection of the natural components used. The support shown for this strategy by Argos Wityu and the participation of the current management in the transaction, have convinced us that we can entrust to them the continued development of the group and accompany this new stage ourselves as minority shareholders.“ comment Maryse and Jean Estienne, the founders.
The objective of the management team, accompanied by Argos Wityu, is to accelerate the growth of the group, both in its actual pharmacy and specialist shop markets and in new ones, particularly the export market. Nigel Henton concludes : « The Estienne family and I have worked extremely hard to make Natural Distribution a leader in the food supplements market : today Santé Verte has consolidated its position in the pharmacy segment and is among the « Top 10 » actors in France. With Argos Wityu alongside us and the reinforcement of the management team, we are looking forward with enthusiasm to a new phase of development. » « Over 25 years, Maryse and Jean Estienne have built Natural Distribution into an uncontested reference in the sector of food supplements based on plants and components of natural origin. Their concern for the quality of the products, based notably on a profound knowledge of essential nutriments, has created a company which is today a trustworthy actor for its partners and clients. We are particularly proud to accompany the management team in the future growth of the business. » comment Gilles Mougenot and Karel Kroupa, Argos Wityu partners.
About Argos Wityu Argos Wityu is an independent European private equity group with offices in Paris, Milan and Geneva. Since its creation in 1989, Argos Wityu has carried out more than 50 transactions focusing on management buy-outs and buy-ins in small and medium sized companies. Argos Sodtic typically takes majority stakes ranging from €5m to €50m in companies with revenues of €20m to €400m. With €675m under management for MBO (€400m for the last fund), the firm has developed a track record of unusual, complex and off-market transactions where the firm’s combination of local presence and international experience is able to add value to the small and medium sized businesses it invests in.
Natural Distribution is the third acquisition for Fund VI.
Advisors Sellers : M&A : Messis Finances (Elie Auriac, Aurélien Ferrand, Aurélien Bossuat) Legal : PDGB Avocats (Thibaut Caharel, Joy Fant)
Purchasers : Financial : KPMG (Olivier Boumendil, Franck Bernard) Fiscal : Arsène Taxand (Franck Chaminade, Emilie Foy) Legal: SJ Berwin (Maxence Bloch, Pierre-Louis Sèvegrand, Olivier Vermeulen, Marc Zerah) Regulatory: PDG Avocats (Paule Drouault-Gardrat, Juliette Peterka)
Financing Unitranche : Idinvest (François Lacoste, Nicolas Nedelec) Access Capital Partners (Martial Lauby, Christopher Underwood) IFE Mezzanine (Dominique Fouquoire, Alban Cordier) Conseil unitranche : Nabarro & Hinge (Jonathan Nabarro, Blandine Geny)
Argos Wityu : Gilles Mougenot (Partner), Karel Kroupa (Partner), Guillaume Lefebvre (Analyst) Press : Céline Lanoux, tel. +33 1 53 67 20 50, firstname.lastname@example.org