Maximuscle bought for £162m

Original founder to stay on board as ‘industry ambassador’

Maximuscle, the UK’s largest sports nutrition brand, has been bought by healthcare company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), for a reported £162m.

Launched in 1995 by sports nutrition expert and former bodybuilder Zef Eisenberg, the company has seen profits more than double year-on-year. This growth has been attributed to an increasing interest in performance food by the general consumer base.

In 2007, Maximuscle sold a majority stake to Darwin Private Equity, while maintaining a significant shareholding. The business has now been bought by GSK for around £162m, after being approached by the FTSE 100 company.

Eisenberg said: “We had no intention of selling the business at this time, but GSK approached us quietly with tomorrow’s price today. Clearly they could see the amazing growth opportunity that exists, especially after we had just introduced Maxifuel, an energy range, and Maxitone, a female gym range, which are both gaining increasing market share.

“After months of discussion and testing the products in every way, they could see that the brand was unique in its quest for perfection, quality, customer loyalty and satisfaction.

“We are delighted to have found a buyer that has a proven track record in developing brands and taking them to the next stage. Having founded the business 15 years ago, I am pleased to finally hand over the reigns to a company as professional as GSK.”

The company, which is based in Hemel Hempstead, sells its products through its website, as well as popular high street outlets including: Argos, Asda, Boots, Tesco, JJB and Waitrose.

Healthcare suppliers GSK have asked the founder to stay on as president and industry ambassador, while acting as a consultant.

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A spokesperson for GSK said: “Maximuscle is the leader in a highly attractive, expanding health and fitness market with a strong brand endorsed by many leading sports figures and clubs.  We are pleased to acquire this highly regarded brand and benefit from the synergies of having Maximuscle within the GSK camp. We have exciting plans for the brand and are pleased that the existing management will stay on and help us deliver that.”

© Crimson Business Ltd. 2010



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