WM’s $300 mln Fund I nearing close; Vanterra anchors

  • WM Partners Fund I is seeking $300 mln
  • Middle-market shop eyes health and wellness rollups
  • Global nutritional supplements market $278 bln by 2024: report

WM Partners has collected $230 million for its debut fund and expects to close the pool soon, sources said.

Vanterra Capital, New York, is serving as anchor investor of the fund, which has a $300 million target, one source said. VCP Advisors is placement agent, people said.

WM began marketing Fund I in 2016, Buyouts reported. The Fort Lauderdale, Florida, firm is “working hard” on the fundraising, a source said. “They’re knocking on a lot of doors.”

Two entrepreneurs, Alejandro Weinstein and Jose Minski, founded WM Partners in 2015. The firm targets lower-middle-market health-and-wellness companies. The PE firm makes growth-equity and buyout investments in companies with revenue of $20 million to $60 million, taking controlling stakes.

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 Fund I will focus on add-on deals for its nutritional-supplement platform company, WellnextBuyouts reported. The company already controls several brands including Nature Products Inc and Rainbow Light Nutritional Systems.

In March, Wellnext acquired Natural Dynamics. The deal included brands Natural Calm and Organic Life Vitamins as well as the Organic Connections educational site. Wellnext in February 2016 also scooped up Stop Aging Now, a specialist in the direct-to-consumer nutraceuticals business.

Vitamins and supplements are big business. The global market for nutritional supplements is expected to reach $278 billion by 2024, according to a report from Grand View Research. The market is seen generating $37.16 billion in revenue in seven years, the report said.

The vitamin, mineral and supplements sector has already attracted PE interest. North Castle Partners in 2015 invested in SmartyPants Vitamins while Kainos Capital bought the Slim-Fast brand in 2014.

In January, Carlyle Group put nutritional supplements maker Nature’s Bounty Co on the block in a deal expected to fetch $6 billion, Bloomberg said.

Executives for Vanterra couldn’t immediately be reached for comment. VCP and WM Partners declined comment.

Action Item: Contact Alejandro Weinstein at +1 754-260-2500

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