GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is set to acquire Maxinutrition, a UK manufacturer of protein-enhanced functional nutrition products, from private-equity firm Darwin Private Equity.

Subject to approval, GSK will pay around GBP162m (US$256m) for the business, including the repayment of outstanding debt, it said today (13 December).

As part of the agreement, GSK will acquire Maxinutrition’s brands, including Maximuscle. The deal, GSK said, will extend its reach into wider categories, complementing its existing nutritional healthcare business.

John Clarke, president of consumer healthcare for GSK, said: “This deal will give GSK a strong presence in the fast developing protein-based sports nutrition market. GSK will invest behind Maxinutrition’s science-proven products to extend the growth of Maxinutrition within its UK and European footprint and expand to the global marketplace, where GSK has existing infrastructure and capabilities.”

Maxinutrition has seen sales rise at a CAGR of around 21% over the last three years, GSK said. The company recorded sales of around GBP36m for the fiscal year to the end of April.

Darwin Private Equity is the owner of UK baby-food business Plum Baby, which it bought in June for GBP10m.