Maximuscle powers up with £75m deal

The sports nutrition brand now has the resources to conquer Europe


Maximuscle, the award-winning sports nutrition brand, has received a £75m investment from Darwin Private Equity.

The company, founded by Zef Eisenberg in 1995, has been growing rapidly with sales up 55% each year. Projected retail sales until April 2008 are £43-44m, the company says.

The company employed Pricewaterhousecoopers to handle enquiries from buyers a year ago as its previous investor Piper Private Equity needed to bring in a return for shareholders.

Maximuscle was also receiving approaches from both trade and private equity buyers and felt that it needed an intermediary to handle the process.

Eisenberg told Growing Business that Maximuscle spoke to about a dozen people who were interested in buying Piper’s stake and that all were impressed with the company’s story.

“The business has been growing very fast up 55% each year and there’s been an exceptional level of interest in the business, he said.

“We have a great team and a workforce that have been here a long time and have shown a lasting commitment.

“When you are dealing with private equity it is your team that they are buying into and I think that it comes across really clearly that ours is very strong.

“About half of our staff are shareholders and they have retained their stakes. Because staff share in the rewards of the company it makes them more entrepreneurial, I think this is a big part of our success.”

The 53-strong company, which is based in Watford, will now be seeking bigger offices in the area, as well as new bases in Europe. Expansion across the continent is now the next big part of the plan for the business.

Eisenberg says that Darwin Private Equity was finally picked as it came across as the firm most likely to help them to achieve those aims.

“We are already in Europe but now it’s a case of really steaming ahead. We want to achieve the same as we have done here – to be the number one brand.

“Darwin is willing to invest in the business and to take it into Europe.”

Eisenberg remains as the company’s president and ambassador and says that the ‘DNA’ of the business remains the same and that this will continue as it expands.

However, one change to the team is that Iain MacRitchie has now become the company’s chairman replacing Paul Hick.

© Crimson Business Ltd. 2007

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