Belfast Telegraph

Glanbia spending £265m to buy loss-making SlimFast

By John Mulligan

Irish food firm Glanbia is forking out $350m (£265m) to buy SlimFast, the weight loss and health and wellness brand that's popular across the US, UK and Ireland.

The price tag for the loss-making business is below the $400m (£303m) speculated figure that was placed on SlimFast when its current owners - Kainos Capital and Unilever - put it up for sale at the start of the year.

SlimFast markets a range of ready-to-drink shakes, powders, bars and snacks, as well as a range of new products.

The sale to Glanbia underscores how far the value of the SlimFast brand has slumped in the past two decades.

Florida-based SlimFast, founded in 1977 by Thompson Medical, used to be wholly-owned by Unilever, which paid $2.6bn (£2bn) for the company in 2000.

But the acquisition quickly soured for the consumer goods giant.

In 2005, Unilever slashed the value of SlimFast by £570m under Dutch and UK accounting standards, and then by another £175m under International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), acknowledging the acquisition was a failure.

Later that year, Unilever took another £310m write-down on SlimFast. Sales had slumped 20% in 2004, hit by the popularity of the Atkins Diet.

Glanbia chief executive Siobhan Talbot said that the SlimFast business will be an "adjacency" to the group's existing performance nutrition portfolio.

Belfast Telegraph

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