WM Partners set to launch $400 mln Fund II after selling off portfolio

  • WM Partners Fund I raised $307 mln in 2017
  • Clorox closed buy of Nutranext for $700 mln in April
  • WM Partners invests in health and wellness

WM Partners has attained the dream of emerging managers everywhere: Less than a year after raising its debut fund, the Fort Lauderdale, Florida, PE firm is set to launch its second pool after scoring a major exit, two sources said.

WM Fund II is targeting $400 million with a $500 million hard cap, the people said. Fundraising is set to start later this month or in June, one of the sources said.

WM invests in lower-middle-market health-and-wellness companies. The firm’s first fund closed on more than $307 million in July 2017, Buyouts reported.

Marketing of Fund II comes just weeks after WM Partners sold its entire portfolio holding. In March, Clorox  agreed to buy Nutranext, which makes dietary and nutritional supplements, for $700 million. The sale closed in April, a Clorox spokeswoman said.

Included in the deal were brands Rainbow Light, Champion Performance, Natural Vitality and NeoCell.

The sale was vindication of WM Partners’ strategy, which was to create a single platform rollup that was sizable and attractive to a strategic, the second source said.

Clorox actually wanted to buy one of WM’s brands in late 2016 but the PE firm rejected the offer, the person said. WM told Clorox to come back when Nutranext was ready to sell, the source said.

Two entrepreneurs, Alejandro Weinstein and Jose Minski, founded WM Partners in 2015. The PE firm makes buyout investments in companies with revenue of $20 million to $60 million, taking controlling stakes. Categories include natural personal care, functional foods (super foods), natural remedies and natural OTC.

Weinstein was CEO of CFR Pharmaceuticals, which Abbott Laboratories acquired in 2014 for about $2.9 billion. Minski was head of Trolli, the gummy-bear maker that TPG acquired in 1997.

WM Partners could not be reached for comment.

Action Item: Contact Alejandro Weinstein at +1 754-260-6500

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