Lion Capital acquires majority stake in Grenade Holdings

The deal values the UK-based functional snacks and supplement company at $87.5 million and suggests a future focus on branding efforts.

Consumer brands-focused private equity firm Lion Capital announced Monday that it has acquired a majority stake in functional snacks and supplement provider Grenade Holdings from Grovepoint Capital and the company’s founders.

The deal values the company at $87.5 million. Though the exact size of Lion’s majority stake was undisclosed, a Lion Capital representative confirmed that Grovepoint is no longer invested in Grenade.

Based in Solihull, England, Grenade was founded in 2010 and offers a range of products including sports performance and energy bars, weight management supplements, vitamins and protein shakes. In addition, the company currently offers apparel and accessories under the Grenade brand.

UK private investment company Grovepoint invested in Grenade three years ago and focused on product development and expanding distribution from specialist providers to mainstream convenience and grocery stores in the UK and more than 100 other countries, according to the statement.

“Grenade has enjoyed exceptional growth over the past few years, driven by a distinctive brand and products which offer a unique combination of flavor and functional nutritional benefits,” said Lion partner James Cocker in a statement. “We see opportunities for growth not just in the current product range but also through product and channel extension, and international expansion.”

Grenade co-founder and chief executive officer Alan Barratt added that he sees the company’s partnership with Lion as part of effort to establish a “global lifestyle brand.”

Capital for the transaction is understood to have come from Lion Capital Fund IV, which began fundraising in 2015 and was understood by sister publication Private Equity International (PEI) in January 2016 to have raised at least $1 billion towards its $2.25 billion target. The firm could not be reached by press time regarding the current status of the fundraising.

The previous fund in the series, Lion Capital Fund III, closed on €1.5 billion in 2010.

Founded in 2004, Lion Capital maintains offices in Los Angeles and London and invests in brands across the retail, personal care, apparel and food and beverage sectors.

Food and beverage-related brands account for the largest portion of the firm’s overall portfolio, with its investments including UK cereals producer Weetabix, potato chip company Kettle Foods and Bumble Bee Foods, North America’s largest shelf-stable seafood brand.

In a 2015 interview with PEI, Lion Capital founder and managing partner Lyndon Lea described the firm’s evolution from a broad targeting of the consumer goods, food and media sectors to an exclusive focus on brands.

“There’s very few firms that have been so focused and dedicated to a brand strategy,” he said.