Glanbia bulks up consumer presence with $144m sports supplements acquisition

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

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Glanbia's new sports supplements buy is a pre-workout powder specialist
Glanbia's new sports supplements buy is a pre-workout powder specialist
Glanbia has kicked off 2011 by making its second major US sports supplements acquisition in three years – with the $144m debt-free acquisition of leading pre-workout powder specialist, Bio-Engineered Supplements and Nutrition.

Glanbia corporate communications director Geraldine Kearney told the acquisition was “similar but complementary” ​to the Irish dairy giant’s 2008 acquisition of whey powder supplement specialist, Optimum Nutrition for $315m.

“Optimum was our first consumer supplements brand acquisition and it broke the mould, so we have the experience and now we have welcomed another consumer brand into the family,” ​Kearney said, adding there were no plans to merge the two businesses.

Glanbia global presence had assisted Optimum Nutrition develop its own international markets, but the company has been left to run with a great amount of independence and a similar strategy was in place for BSN, she affirmed.

She said the investment closely matched the $150m that had been set aside for an acquisition, with no further investment likely in the short to medium term, and no supplement targets in mind in Europe or other regions.

“We are focused now on integrating this purchase and assisting BSN to bolster its US and international presence,” ​she said.

Glanbia Nutritionals grows

Florida-based BSN joins Optimum Nutrition in the performance division of Glanbia Nutritionals that also includes a customized pre-mixes branch and a business-to-business ingredient technology arm.

Glanbia shares rose 5.09% to £3.49 on the London Stock Exchange on the back of the announcement that was coupled with an improved financial forecast that included a 20 per cent increase in expected share earnings.

In its acquisition presentation Glanbia emphasized the high-margin nature of BSN’s business that includes N.O-xplode and Syntha-6 brands that turned a $16.3m adjusted EBITDA profit on $135.4m revenue in 2009. This figure equates to 21 per cent of Glanbia Nutritionals’ global $661m revenue.

The $144m purchase price represents an EBITDA multiple of 8.3.

John Moloney, managing director of Glanbia Group, said: “BSN is an excellent strategic fit with our performance nutrition business and adds strong brand and market positions that complement and extend our portfolio. Since the acquisition of Optimum Nutrition we have established a market leading, scale position in the attractive, high growth, global sports nutrition sector.”

The US sports supplements market is valued at $2.9bn, according to Nutrition Business Journal​, of which $2.46bn is comprised of powder products like the whey powders offered by BSN.

Glanbia put the global sports nutrition market at $4.5bn and growing at more than six percent annually.

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