Linden Capital Partners LLC has acquired Merical Inc., a maker and packager of dietary supplements, for an undisclosed amount. The deal supports the buyer’s “subsector-driven strategy” to expand its investments within the manufacturing industry.
Orange, California-based Merical, founded by Dean Baltzell, develops and packages pharmaceutical pills and other nutritional supplements out of its four facilities in California. The target’s products include probiotics, multivitamins and powder-filled capsules. As part of the deal, Baltzell will remain on the company’s board and Linden operating partner Brian Smith will step in as interim CEO.
The deal by Chicago-based Linden marks the private equity firm’s third manufacturing investment, following Ranir LLC and Flexan Corp. Linden is primarily a middle market healthcare-focused firm that manages approximately $1.3 billion in assets.
The demand for packaging deals has remained consistently strong as companies have been looking to expand into new markets. Recent packaging deals include Berry Plastics Group Inc. (NYSE: BERY) purchasing AEP Industries Inc. (Nasdaq: AEPI) for $765 million; Novolex, backed by Wind Point Partners, has closing the deal to buy Heritage Bag Company; and Platinum Equity agreeing to buy Broadway Industrial Group for nearly $111 million.
GulfStar Group served as financial adviser to Merical and Payne & Fears LLP acted as legal counsel. Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as legal adviser to Linden.