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Darwin Private Equity to sell Maxinutrition for GBP162m to GSK

Darwin Private Equity has entered into an agreement to sell Maxinutrition Group to GlaxoSmithKline for GBP162m.

The transaction is subject to approval from the Office of Fair Trading.

Maxinutrition, the parent company of Maximuscle, Maxifuel and Maxitone, is a European sports nutrition company.

The sale of Maxinutrition is Darwin’s first exit from its inaugural fund which closed in August 2008.

The announcement is three years to the day since Darwin acquired the business for GBP75m and represents Darwin’s fourth transaction this year, following its acquisitions of Plum Baby, Fenn Wright Manson and Euroffice during 2010.

Iain MacRitchie, chairman of Maxinutrition, says: “Under Darwin’s ownership we have been able to rapidly expand the business with three major brand launches and a full suite of new high performing sports nutrition products. The transformation process has been driven by a committed and determined team focused on helping an increasing number of consumers to meet their sporting and physical goals. The growth we have achieved over the last three years has been exceptional and with the active support of GSK we will have a powerful blend of capability and resource to realise the full potential of all our brands.”

Jonathan Kaye, partner of Darwin Private Equity, says: “Darwin’s significant investment in the business has been instrumental in turning Maxinutrition into a professional branded sports nutrition business with sales now coming from more than 20 countries. Our value creation strategy has been focused on investing in the management talent and infrastructure needed to build a scalable business, investing in innovative new products and brands as well as expanding the business internationally. During the period of our investment, Maxinutrition has seen annual double digit sales growth and the business has significantly increased in value. We are confident the company will continue to prosper under GSK’s ownership.”

Advisers to Darwin on the sale were PricewaterhouseCoopers and Macfarlanes.

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