WM Partners targets $300 mln for debut fund

  • Middle-market shop eyes health and wellness roll-ups
  • Alejandro Weinstein, Jose Minski co-founded firm
  • Wellnext LLC platform company anchors fundraising effort

WM Partners, hitting the fundraising market for its 2016 launch by two entrepreneurial executives in the health and wellness space, is targeting $300 million for its debut fund.

The fund will focus on add-on deals for its nutritional-supplement platform company, Wellnext LLC, which already controls several brands including Nature Products Inc and Rainbow Light Nutritional Systems.

WM Partners co-founder Alejandro Weinstein led CFR Pharmaceuticals as CEO of the Chile-based company starting in 2000. He sold it to Abbott Laboratories in 2014 for about $2.9 billion.

WM Partners co-founder Jose Minski sold gummy-bear maker Trolli to a unit of Texas Pacific Group in 1997 and moved on to become CEO of Wellnext for 19 years.

A spokesperson for the firm declined to comment on fundraising.

In its recent deals, WM Partners has focused on the nutraceutical category, defined as a fortified food or dietary supplement that provides health benefits in addition to its basic nutritional value, according to Webster’s.

Wellnext in February paid an undisclosed sum to buy Stop Aging Now, a specialist in the direct-to-consumer nutraceuticals business. In a statement at the time, Minski said the firm planned to make additional investment in the “high-growth” direct-to-consumer space.

In March, Wellnext paid an undisclosed sum for Natural Dynamics LLC, owner of the Natural Calm and Organic Life Vitamins brands, and the educational site Organic Connections.

Based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, WM Partners recruited its executives from the private equity universe.

Ernesto Carrizosa, executive managing director at the firm, is a former investment banker who advised on acquisitions for Wellnext; Ricardo Berner, managing director, was a principal at Bain & Co; and Vanessa Gabela, senior vice president, formerly worked as director of investor relations at Palladium Equity Partners.

Action Item: Contact WM Partners at 754-260-6500 or info@wmplp.com

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