Image Source: ThinkThin

Nutritional products distributor Glanbia plc (LON: GLB) is acquiring protein bar maker ThinkThin from TSG Consumer Partners LLC for $217 million in cash.

ThinkThin, founded in 1999, makes protein and fiber bars under the ThinkThin brand. The Los Angeles, California-based company has about $84 million in annual sales. TSG invested in ThinkThin in 2011.

“The transaction is firmly aligned with our overall growth ambitions and positions us well in the fast growing nutrition bar category,” says Glanbia managing director Siobhan Talbot. Glanbia’s nutrition division sells power bars and drinks under the Optimum Nutrition, Isopure and Nutramino brands. The company’s other business distributes dairy ingredients, particularly cheese.

An increasingly health conscious population has been making healthy snacks companies attractive. Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. (NYSE: DPS) is investing in BA Sports Nutrition LLC;  WhiteWave Foods Co. (NYSE: WWAV) has plans to add Wallaby Yogurt Company Inc.

Targets in the protein category have also received buyer interest. For instance, The Hershey Co. (NYSE: HSY) has plans to buy jerky-maker Krave Pure Foods Inc.; Hormel said it will purchase of the Skippy brand won the 2013 M&A Mid-Market Award for Deal of the Year; Hormel has also purchased CytoSport in 2014; Lastly, WhiteWave said it will acquire Sequel Naturals Ltd. from VMG Partners.

For more on healthy food trends, see Snack Time.

Ropes & Gray LLP and Houlihan Lokey Inc. (NYSE: HLI) are advising the sellers. Glanbia is funding the purchase with debt.

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