Chr. Hansen to acquire probiotics company in Wisconsin

Thursday, June 11, 2020
Jeff Gelski, Food Business News

 

HOERSHOLM, DENMARK — Chr. Hansen has agreed to acquire UAS Laboratories LLC, which specializes in clinically documented probiotics, from the private equity fund Lakeview Equity Partners, management team and other shareholders for $530 million. A low-interest bridge facility provided by core banks will finance the acquisition.

UAS Labs, Wausau, Wis., is expected to have revenues of about $85 million and EBITDA of $30 million in 2020. The company has six trademarked probiotic strains that provide benefits in areas such as digestive disorders, immune stimulation, infant probiotics and weight management. Probiotics under the company’s ProDura brand of Bacillus coagulans provide digestive and immune support, according to UAS Labs, and they have been shown to work in food, gummy and extrusion applications where thermal stability in a probiotic organism is required.

Two UAS Labs facilities, a fermentation facility near Madison, Wis., and a finished product facility in Wausau, are near Chr. Hansen facilities in Milwaukee.

“We are excited about the acquisition of UAS Labs and look forward to welcoming all its talented people to join forces in our shared purpose — to develop and expand the global probiotics market, and we look forward to building upon the strengths of both companies,” said Mauricio Graber, chief executive officer for Hoersholm-based Chr. Hansen. “The two UAS Labs production facilities in the United States will increase our flexibility and capacity to produce and also create a better balance in our geographical footprint. We believe that the UAS Labs acquisition will accelerate our efforts to grow our Health & Nutrition business globally, especially in the Asian markets.”

UAS Labs has manufactured probiotics for global distribution since 1979.

“Over the past seven years I have been honored to lead the team at UAS Labs with our science-backed probiotic solutions,” said Kevin Mehring, CEO of UAS Labs. “We have grown and matured in our strain to solution manufacturing capabilities and commitment to clinical research. I could not be more proud of all the dedicated individuals that have worked tirelessly to get us to this point.”

The transaction is expected to close within one to three months. Depending on when the closing occurs, there will be a minor negative impact on the outlook for 2019-20 EBIT margin before special items, but Chr. Hansen will maintain its guidance for the fiscal year.

 

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