H.I.G. bites into Jenny Craig

A private equity firm will own Jenny Craig for the third time in the weight loss brand’s history.

H.I.G Capital said April 4th that it acquired Craig Holdings Inc. Financial terms weren’t announced. Founded in 1983, Jenny Craig, of Carlsbad, California, provides weight loss services including meal plans, foods and personal consultants. The company has about 500 company-owned and franchised locations in the U.S. and Canada and about 600 centers globally. Monty Sharma, Jenny Craig’s CEO, is staying with the company.

“We believe Jenny Craig represents an ideal opportunity to invest in the premier provider of weight loss services, especially with the rising prevalence of overweight adults,” said Jeff Zanarini, an H.I.G. managing director, in a statement.

The Wall Street Journal reported in September that North Castle Partners had put Craig was up for sale. The company produced $35 million in Ebitda; Rothschild & Co advised on the process, the story said.

North Castle acquired Jenny Craig in 2013 from Nestle. It was unclear how much North Castle paid but it was likely less than the $600 million Nestle shelled out for Craig in 2006, Reuters reported at the time.

The Greenwich, Connecticut firm invests in health, wellness and acting living. Current holdings include Sprout Organic Foods, SmartyPants vitamins and rock climbing gym Brooklyn Boulders. The firm’s seventh fund closed on $278.5 million in January.

Nestle acquired Jenny Craig from MidOcean Partners and ACI Capital, which in turn bought Jenny Craig in 2002.  PitchBook pegged MidOcean-ACI’s buy of Craig at $109.64 million.

H.I.G. has $30 billion of equity capital under management. The Miami buyout shop offers both debt and equity to small and mid-sized companies.

In October, the firm’s  H.I.G. Advantage Buyout Fund, which invests in middle-market companies with Ebitda between $25 million and $100 million, closed on $3 billion. At the same time, H.I.G.’s third growth equity fund collected $970 million.

UPDATE: Siddharth Hariharan of Rothschild was lead banker on the sale.

H.I.G. and North Castle couldn’t be reached for comment.

Action Item: For more information, contact H.I.G’s Zanarini by emailing him at jzanarini@higcapital.com