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Wind Point to drive channel partnerships at FoodScience

The PE firm’s latest acquisition of the heritage vitamin brand builds on its health and wellness strategy.

Wind Point Partners plans to build out recently acquired FoodScience Corporation by expanding the nutritional supplement company’s channel partner network among other organic growth strategies.

The proprietary deal, which closed on March 1, broadens the firm’s exposure to the pet and human health industry. “These are attractive markets; there’s a general growth in the vitamin and mineral supplement (VMS) segment,” said Paul Peterson, managing director at the firm. 

FoodScience currently generates somewhere between $50 million to $100 million in revenue through its brands VetriScience, DaVinci and Pet Naturals, as well as contract manufacturing for other companies. According to PitchBook data, the Williston, Vermont, company’s total revenue exceeded $65 million in 2018.

The Orlandi family has owned and run FoodScience since its inception in 1973, with three generations of ownership over nearly 50 years. 

“We knew the business would eventually be sold,” Peterson said. The investor had met incumbent CEO Sharon Rossi much earlier, but “fourth quarter is when we actively engaged,” he said, speaking of conversations with the founding family and Rossi. 

FoodScience marked the sixth investment out of Wind Point Partners’ Fund IX, which closed last month at $1.5 billion. There were no investment bankers involved on either side of the transaction. 

The company is poised to benefit from Wind Point’s experience with similar multi-brand companies, having previously invested in Pestell Group. Petsell was ultimately split into two brands: Targeted PetCare, a manufacturer of animal litter, and Pestsell Nutrition, a distributor of minerals & feed ingredients.

Chicago-based Wind Point will focus on developing FoodScience across multiple channels such as Amazon and Chewy. “We will certainly be allocating resources,” Peterson said, “but not exclusively to these platforms; there are opportunities in other channels as well.”

FoodScience, which employs nearly 200 people, has two facilities, both in Vermont: one in Williston and another in Colchester. Wind Point was particularly attracted to the company’s practitioner channel. “They sell to doctors and veterinary offices, which is pretty unique for a 50-year-old company.” 

In addition to brand building, product innovation and add-ons are also on the agenda.