July, 7 2023
WM PARTNERS ANNOUNCES ACQUISITION OF ALLERGY RESEARCH GROUP
Aventura, FL. July 7, 2023; WM Partners, a certified diverse-owned private equity firm focused on investing in middle market companies and driving value creation in the health and wellness sector, today announced that HPH III Investments, LP, together with its parallel and feeder funds (“HPH III”), through its wholly owned entity, has acquired Allergy Research Group LLC (“ARG”), a subsidiary of KI NutriCare (“KIN”), from Kikkoman Corporation. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Founded in 1979, ARG is a leader in the healthcare practitioner channel selling a full range of hypoallergenic supplements focused on addressing condition-specific issues. ARG has three brands it sells with distinct channel positioning, as well as its Nutri-Link subsidiary headquartered in the UK. ARG focuses on the healthcare practitioner channel, where it is an established player with a leading position and has a strong loyal customer base which has grown thanks to its strong engagement with customers and innovative products and educational initiatives.
Similar to the previous two funds managed by WM Partners, HPH III is focused on acquiring middle market companies with leading and emerging brands in the natural consumer health sector within the health and wellness industry and growing the companies through an operational buy and build value creation strategy. Within natural consumer health, HPH III is focused on brands in functional foods, natural personal care, pet care, vitamins, minerals and supplements and natural over-the-counter remedies – subsectors that continue to demonstrate to be fast growing, fragmented and defensive. WM Partners has deep operating experience and expertise in these categories.
ARG is the first acquisition by HPH III and we believe it strategically positions the future portfolio of the fund in the health practitioner channel – a high growth channel expected to grow at 7% annually second only to e-commerce growth according to Nutritional Business Journal, with high barriers to entry as practitioners require a higher level of sophistication, education, and science-backing to recommend products to their patients and with strong customer stickiness.
“We are thrilled to work with ARG, which is well-positioned to continue gaining market share in the fast-growing healthcare practitioner channel and where through our operational toolkit across marketing, product innovation, sales, operations, finance, we can help optimize and grow the company as well as strengthen its footprint,” said Eli Minski, Senior Vice President of WM Partners.
“We are looking forward to joining the WM Partners team, which we believe will allow us to expand our capabilities and seize the critical mission to deliver innovative solutions to an active health and wellness market. We are excited to be the first acquisition by this fund, and trust that WM Partners has the vision and expertise to build out a portfolio that will make a positive, lasting impact,” said Tim Gerke, President of Allergy Research Group.
King & Spalding served as legal advisor to WM Partners. Rothschild & Co served as sell-side advisor to Kikkoman Corporation.
About WM Partners, LP
WM Partners is a middle-market private equity firm specializing in buyout investments in the health and wellness sector. WM Partners seeks to acquire small and medium size businesses with attractive growth prospects and generate sustainable, long-term value through its operational expertise in the health and wellness sector, and strategic business approach working in collaboration with experienced management teams. WM Partners is certified as a diverse-owned firm by the National Association of Investment Companies. WM Partners is based in Aventura, FL. More information about WM Partners is available at www.wmplp.com.
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WM Partners, LP
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