San Francisco private equity firm VMG Partners has closed a fund with $500 million, and announced the sale of Sequel Naturals Ltd. to the WhiteWave Foods Co. (NYSE: WWAV) for $550 million.
Sequel Naturals owns Vega, a Burnaby, Canada-based brand of plant-based protein powders.
Protein powders, supplements and other better-for-you businesses have attracted dealmaker interest as consumer habits shift towards health. In 2014, we saw deals from MidOcean Partners, which made an investment in Nutrabolt, and Hormel Foods Corp. (NYSE: HRL), which bought Muscle Milk. For more on supplements M&A, see Vitamins, Minerals and Supplements Feed Consumers and Deals.
Denver-based WhiteWave, which owns the brands Silk, International Delight, Horizon Organic, Earthbound Farm and others, has made deals before. In September, the group bought So Delicious Dairy Free for $195 million.
For VMG, the sale of Vega means it has exited all of its investments from its debut fund, which closed in 2007.
VMG’s fund close comes at a time when its focus on better-for-you food and lifestyle companies resonates with consumers and other dealmakers.
The firm is invested in Babyganics, a baby products company, snack maker Bare, Chia Bar maker Health Warrior and other businesses. In 2013, VMG sold snack food brand Pirate’s Booty to B&G Foods (NYSE: BGS) for $195 million.
VMG’s new fund, VMG Partners III LP, will invest in brands with between $5 million and $500 million in sales. The fund’s investors include endowments, charitable foundations, international investors and corporate pension plans. The firm’s second fund closed in 2011 with $382 million in committed capital.
For more on the better-for-you trend, check out Snack Time.