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February 3, 2022updated 09 Feb 2022 9:33am

Nestlé strikes another nutrition deal with majority stake in Orgain

Nestlé has an option to take full control of Orgain in 2024.

By Simon Harvey

Nestlé has expanded its portfolio of “nutrition products” with a majority stake in US-based Orgain, a supplier of protein powders, snack bars and shakes.

The world’s largest food company, which has an option to fully acquire Orgain, did not disclose the size of the stake it had bought in the Californian company, nor what it had paid.

The deal is the latest Nestlé has made in the health and nutrition sector. Last year, the Swiss giant snapped up the vitamins and supplement brands of US-based The Bountiful Company in a deal valued at US$5.75bn. That transaction included the Nature’s Bounty, Solgar, Osteo Bi-Flex and Puritan’s Pride lines, as well as Bountiful’s private-label business.

In 2020, Nestlé bought a majority stake in US-based nutrition business Vital Proteins, which makes supplements and food and drink products using collagen. Three years earlier, the company made a move to acquire Canada-based vitamins and supplements supplier Atrium Innovations.

The shares in Orgain have been purchased from the company’s founder Dr. Andrew Abraham and Butterfly Equity, a Los Angeles-based private-equity firm that acquired a majority stake in the business in 2019.

Butterfly Equity bought its stake alongside Canadian pension fund Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and Beijing-based investor DCP Capital. Dr. Abraham, Butterfly Equity, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and DCP Capital will retain minority stakes in Orgain, although Nestlé has an agreement to take full control of the business in 2024.

Greg Behar, the CEO of Nestlé’s Health Science arm, said in a statement: “Orgain’s emphasis on clean, all-natural, plant-based, organic ingredients has made it a leader in the US. Nutritional protein plays a key role in supporting our health and wellness, whether we enjoy an active lifestyle or are facing health challenges.”

Dr. Abraham, an “integrative medicine specialist” and cancer survivor, founded Orgain in 2009. He heads up the business as CEO and will continue in that role.

He said: “As someone who has experienced the power of clean, protein-based nutrition, and as a physician, it’s been important for me to help as many people as possible to live their most vibrant lives. We’ve worked hard to develop innovative products that make a real difference in consumers’ lives, and now through Nestlé Health Science’s capabilities, resources and dedication to nutrition, we will be able to reach more people around the world.”

Nestlé added the initial transaction is “expected to be slightly accretive” to the group’s organic growth in 2022 and “slightly dilutive” on the underlying trading profit margin.

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