In the Spotlight ...
Hadley Mullin leads TSG Consumer Partners, LLC, to a successful exit from thinkThin, LLC, whose founder is Lizanne Falsetto, whose CEO is Michelle Kessler, and whose products, Hadley tells Women’s PE Briefs, made her an “avid consumer.” A maker of wholesome, protein-rich foods, thinkThin is set to be acquired for $217 million by Glanbia plc, a global performance nutrition and ingredients group. Lizanne founded the company in 1999 and sold it to TSG in 2011 for what sources said at the time was just under $50 million. Lizanne remained as CEO until about a year ago, when Michelle was promoted from president to CEO. Michelle joined thinkThin in 2013 after previously serving as vice president, global chocolate strategy, and vice president, chocolate U.S., at Mars. Lizanne remained on thinkThin’s board after the move.
Hadley, who is a senior managing director with TSG, says the firm tracked thinkThin for more than five years prior to making the acquisition. She commented that one of the things that jumped out about the company were its “fanatical consumers.” Women, she said, were not only buying single units of the product but boxes of it as well. They were drawn, Hadley said, to the product’s high protein and full-flavored taste.
TSG saw an opportunity to grow the brand through advertising and introducing products beyond the bar category. That occurred with the launch of thinkThin Protein & Fiber Hot Oatmeal and thinkThin Protein Bites. The company’s products are sold in such retailers as: Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Kroger, Walmart, Target and Walgreens. For the 12 months ending in September, thinkThin had revenue of $84 million, according to Glanbia.
The sale of thinkThin continues a strong period of exits for TSG. Over the past two years, the San Francisco-based firm has sold Island Oasis, Inc., to Kerry Group plc; Gardein to Pinnacle Foods, Inc.; Stumptown to Peets; CytoSport, maker of Muscle Milk, to Hormel Foods Corp.; Perricone MD to Lion Capital; e.l.f. Cosmetics to TPG Growth; and U.S. hair companies Sexy Hair, Alterma and Kenra Professional to Henkel. “It’s certainly a great time to sell businesses,” Hadley said. “Strategics across the board are paying attractive multiples for companies that can deliver high growth. We’ve been fortunate to exit from a number of companies over the past year.”
Hadley, who has been with TSG for the past 11 years, was promoted to senior managing director last year and is one of the three senior partners at the firm. In addition to thinkThin, Hadley has worked with such companies as: Smashbox Cosmetics; Yard House USA, Inc.; Radio Systems Corp.; Dentek; Paige Denim; Charming Charlie; REVOLVE Clothing; Kenra Professional and Sexy Hair. Prior to TSG, Hadley was with Bain & Co. She spoke at the 2015 Women’s Private Equity Summit. TSG has approximately $3 billion in capital under management and is focused exclusively on the branded consumer sector. The firm was founded in 1987 and has been an active investor in the food, beverage, restaurant, beauty, personal care, household, and apparel and accessories sectors.
Women’s PE Briefs (November 20, 2015) http://womenspebriefs.com/
ABOUT TSG CONSUMER PARTNERS LLC
TSG Consumer Partners, LLC is a leading investment firm with
approximately $5 billion of assets under management, focused
exclusively on the branded consumer sector. Since its founding
in 1987, TSG has been an active investor in the food, beverage,
restaurant, beauty, personal care, household and apparel & accessories,
and e-commerce sectors. Representative past and present partner
companies include Duckhorn Wine Company, vitaminwater, thinkThin,
popchips, Muscle Milk, Yard House, Stumptown, Pabst, Planet Fitness,
REVOLVE, PAIGE, Smashbox Cosmetics, Pureology, Sexy Hair, e.l.f. Cosmetics
and IT Cosmetics.
Meghan Gavigan / Dan Goldstein
Sard Verbinnen & Co
Meghan Gavigan - 212.687.8080
Dan Goldstein - 310.201.2040