News

April 26, 2011

Designer Protein, LLC Has Acquired Certain Assets of Next Proteins,
Including the Iconic Designer Whey™ Protein Brand

Designer Protein, LLC announced today that it has purchased certain operating assets of Next Proteins, Inc., including the widely popular Designer Whey Protein™ sports nutrition brand and line of products. Designer Protein, LLC is a subsidiary of Athena Wellness Brands, LLC, a newly formed company that is backed by GarMark Partners, Northwood Ventures and Stockton Road Capital.

The majority of the current management team and employees of Next Proteins will be joining the new Company ensuring a consistency of service and relationships with the Company’s customers and suppliers.

Designer Whey Protein™ is a leading brand of protein powder products and a pioneer in the sports nutrition market since the early 1990's. Designer Whey has broadened its line in 2011 by launching ready to drink protein shakes and nutrition bars that carry on the brand’s tradition of great tasting, best in class products. Designer Protein is also acquiring the popular Aria™ women's protein product and a license to sell protein products under The Biggest Loser™ trademark of NBC Universal. Please visit www.designerwhey.com.

Stockton Road Capital played a key part in developing the opportunity and will be taking an active role in the management of Athena. Cyrill Siewert, an accomplished consumer packaged goods and nutrition executive will be the Chairman and CEO of the Company. Mr. Siewert was most recently the CEO of Amerifit Brands, a leading consumer healthcare and nutrition company, and before that was the Chairman and CEO of Select Nutrition, and a senior executive with The Colgate Palmolive Company and PepsiCo, among other positions.

"The Sports Nutrition Category is one of the fastest growing consumer packaged goods segments in the U.S. today, and Designer Whey is a brand and line of products that everyone in the industry knows and loves", said Joe Rhodes, Managing Partner of Stockton Road Capital. "Cyrill and I are excited to be working with and supporting a great group of investors and management team on the opportunity to invest in, and build these dynamic brands."

Commenting on Designer Protein's growing portfolio of products, Hal Wilson of Northwood Ventures said, "We are equally enthusiastic about the potential of both the legacy protein powders as well as the recent line extensions in protein shakes and natural nutrition bars."

Regarding Athena Wellness Brands, David Scopelliti of GarMark stated, "We believe that Athena will serve as a platform for acquisitions in the attractive Health & Wellness space.".

Next Proteins was represented by Partnership Capital Growth (PCG), a full-service boutique investment bank that focuses exclusively on the healthy, active and sustainable living marketplace. The buyer group received legal counsel from Finn Dixon & Herling LLP, accounting advice from Moss Adams LLP, and industry advice from New England Consulting Group. Additionally, Designer Protein has initiated a banking relationship with the Union Bank of California.


About the Parties Involved

GarMark Partners

GarMark Partners is a private investment firm that makes debt and equity investments in a wide range of middle market companies, including consumer-related businesses. www.garmark.com.

Northwood Ventures

Northwood Ventures is a leading private equity/venture capital firm that focuses in the consumer, communications and manufacturing sectors. Northwood has invested in more than 160 companies since being founded in 1983. www.northwoodventures.com.

Partnership Capital Growth

Partnership Capital Growth is a full service boutique investment bank that focuses exclusively on the healthy, active and sustainable living marketplace. www.pcg-advisors.com

Stockton Road Capital

Stockton Road Capital, LLC is a boutique private equity firm and advisor that specializes in the consumer products sector. www.stocktonroadcapital.com