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Hormel Foods Buying Maker Of Muscle Milk

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Hormel Foods Corp. plans to acquire CytoSport, one of the largest sports nutrition companies in the U.S. and the maker of Muscle Milk.

As a leading provider of premium protein products in the sports nutrition category, CytoSport says its brands align with Hormel Foods’ focus on protein while further diversifying Hormel’s portfolio and broadening the appeal to younger consumers. The acquisition also enhances the resources and capabilities for CytoSport to further develop as an industry leader in innovation, consumer experience, marketing, sales, retailer relationships and distribution on a multinational scale. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including the receipt of regulatory approvals in the U.S., and is expected to close within 30 days.

CytoSport was founded in 1998 by father-son duo Greg and Mike Pickett, and has remained a family-operated business from its inception. The company produces a complete line of sports nutrition products, including powders, shakes and bars, under the Muscle Milk brand. The Pickett family says it will remain committed to the company’s growth and will continue to be involved in day-to-day operations.

“We are excited for the future of the company and are fully confident that aligning our team’s knowledge and experience in the sports nutrition world with the incredibly robust global strategies of Hormel Foods will help the company establish an even stronger portfolio of brands and products,” said CytoSport Chairman Greg Pickett. “Over the last 15 years we’ve developed one of the strongest brands in the industry and built an entirely new protein beverage category with Muscle Milk. This next step in the company’s growth story will enable CytoSport to continue its leadership role in the industry and be a part of a global company with greater resources. My family is extremely proud of where the company sits today and grateful to the passionate people who have been a part of this extraordinary adventure.”

TSG Consumer Partners, CytoSport’s strategic equity partner, also is selling its stake in the company.

“We are fortunate to have partnered with the Pickett family and the management team to help drive the company’s success over the last seven years,” said Brian Krumrei, managing director at TSG Consumer Partners. “During this period, Muscle Milk has established a leading position in the protein beverage category and sales have more than quadrupled. This transaction represents an exceptional outcome for CytoSport, TSG Consumer Partners and Hormel Foods. We look forward to watching the company’s continued success under new ownership.”

Added CytoSport’s co-founder Mike Pickett, “We view this new opportunity as a tremendous way to expand the CytoSport brand presence on the global scale and align with a company that shares our commitment to employees and consumers. With the support from a multinational company like Hormel Foods, the entire CytoSport team is confident in the direction of the brands and look forward to continuing to share the brands’ experiences with consumers around the country and the world.”

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