Piper Private Equity has sold Maximuscle to Darwin Private Equity
for £75 million, achieving a 10-times return on its original
Sports nutrition supplier Maximuscle was founded in 1995 by Zef
Eisenberg. The brand has seen rapid growth in the past few years
driven by increasing interest in healthy eating, exercise and
looking good; it has also benefited from associations with sports
stars such a Gavin Henson and Josh Lewsey. The company promotes
its high-protein products online as well as through high-street
outlets including Argos, Asda, Boots, Tesco, JJB and Waitrose.
The company employs 53 people at its headquarters in Watford.
Eisenberg, who was backed in a buy-in management buyout by Piper in 2004, said in a statement, “We are delighted to have found a buyer for the business with as much passion for the Maximuscle brand as Piper and are excited by the opportunities ahead”.
Chris Curry, managing director of Piper, added, “We are very proud of our involvement with Maximuscle. During the period of our investment, sales have trebled, and the brand has moved from being a niche player to becoming the brand of choice for those serious about sport, fitness and the gym”.
Darwin is a private equity firm focused on the UK lower midmarket. Its founders’ highest-profile investments include Formula One, Homebase, Kwik-Fit and Travelodge. “Maximuscle is the leader in a highly attractive growing market with a strong brand, endorsed by many leading sports figures and clubs,” said Darwin partner Jonathan Kay. “We are backing a high-quality management team and a committed workforce in a business where we see a number of exciting growth opportunities ahead”.