Consolidation in the vitamins market as Healthspan acquires rival


Guernsey-based nutritional supplements marketer Healthspan has
acquired competitor Healthy Direct, also based in Guernsey, and
its manufacturing subsidiary Nutralife (UK) Ltd. Although terms
of the deal have not been disclosed, Healthspan CEO Derek Coates
said that an “eight-figure sum” was involved.

“Until now Healthspan has grown organically,” Coates said in a statement, “but by joining forces with Healthy Direct we can pool knowledgeable staff, buying power and reduce a lot of common costs such as warehousing, call centres, IT and central overheads.”

The combined circulation of the Healthy Direct and Healthspan catalogues totals ? 4 million AB consumers aged 50 and over-“more than the Times, Telegraph, Express, Observer and Independent put together,” Coates said. “This makes us a powerful media force for future developments.” He also said that Healthspan is “actively seeking” other acquisitions in “direct healthcare markets”.

The staff of Healthy Direct will relocate to the Healthspan offices, where they will “integrate into new teams working on joint initiatives”. But the two brands will continue to operate separately, said Healthy Direct managing director Graham Winn. Each will “develop more distinct market positioning and product offerings,” he added.

One development underway is the Guernsey Medicines Law. During the past two months, the companies have been working closely with the Guernsey government in developing the new law to “eliminate UK companies from operating fulfilment operations under a badge of convenience out of Guernsey”. The legislation will replace a law passed in 1970 that allowed some companies operating from Guernsey to make unsubstantiated claims and health benefits for their products.

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