Charterhouse Group To Sell Amerifit Brands To Martek in $200 Million Transaction

Entrepreneur-Led Brand Build-up Drives Value Creation

Jan 21, 2010, 07:41 ET from Charterhouse Group, Inc.

NEW YORK, Jan. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Charterhouse Group, Inc. ("Charterhouse") today announced a definitive agreement to sell Amerifit Brands, Inc. ("Amerifit" or the "Company"), a leading consumer health and wellness company, to Martek Biosciences Corporation ("Martek") (Nasdaq: MATK) in a transaction valued at $200 million.  

Amerifit holds leading brand positions in all of its key product categories.  The Company's key products include: Culturelle®, a leading probiotic supplement; AZO®, the leading OTC brand addressing symptom relief, detection and prevention of urinary tract infections; and ESTROVEN®, the leading all-natural nutritional supplement brand addressing the symptoms of menopause.  Amerifit's products are sold in most major mass, club, drug, grocery and specialty stores.

The transaction follows a period of significant growth for Amerifit, driven by strategic initiatives undertaken by Charterhouse to build and strengthen the Company's portfolio of premier health and wellness brands. Charterhouse's original investment in Amerifit in 2005, a transaction valued at approximately $80 million, was the result of a targeted search led by Charterhouse Entrepreneur Cyrill Siewert, now CEO of Amerifit, to find a platform where a build-up could be executed in the consumer health and wellness category.  Under Charterhouse ownership, the Company significantly grew its revenue base and more than doubled EBITDA.

Thomas C. Dircks, Managing Partner at Charterhouse, said, "Amerifit is another example of our time-tested strategy of partnering with an experienced executive and executing our value creation formula through organic growth and, in this case, two strategic add-on acquisitions, while utilizing a prudent amount of debt. We are very pleased with the significant growth of Amerifit's consumer brands, especially in light of the strong economic headwinds over the past eighteen months. We are confident that the management team and the Company will have continuing success with Martek."

Cyrill Siewert commented, "The strategic and financial support of the Charterhouse team over the last four and one-half years has put us in a great position to continue to build our solid business. Together we have created a leader in consumer health and wellness and I am very excited about the Company's future prospects under Martek's ownership."    

The transaction is expected to close in approximately 30 days, subject to customary closing conditions, including expiration or early termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act. The Company was advised by Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., Nicholas Hall & Company and Proskauer Rose LLP.

About Charterhouse Group:

Charterhouse Group, Inc. is a private equity firm with over three and a half decades of experience in building leading middle-market companies. Established in 1973, Charterhouse has invested in excess of $2.0 billion in equity and established over 100 platform companies with a focus in the Business Services, Healthcare Services and Consumer Products and Services sectors. For more information on Charterhouse, please visit www.charterhousegroup.com.

About Amerifit:

Amerifit Brands, Inc. is a leading developer, marketer and distributor of branded over-the-counter consumer health and wellness products.  The Company's product lines address consumer needs within the Women's Health and Digestive Health areas.  Amerifit's products are sold within the food, drug, mass and club channels. The Company's Culturelle®, AZO®, and ESTROVEN® brands are leaders in their respective categories.  The Company's dedication to quality is a commitment solidly backed by quality ingredients, stringent quality control measures and continuous improvement through research and innovation. Amerifit relies on strong science to support its brands. For more information, please visit www.amerifit.com.

SOURCE Charterhouse Group, Inc.



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