Nutrition Business Journal

Airborne Acquired for Second Time in Two Years

For the second time in as many years and the third time since 2005, Airborne Inc. has been acquired by new ownership. 


The immunity health supporting supplement brand has been purchased by GF Capital Private Equity Fund, a New York City-based private equity firm. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Airborne Founder Victoria Knight-McDowell sold the company to Boston-based private equity firm Summit Partners in 2005, but reacquired the company in October 2008 after Knight-McDowell became increasingly unhappy with how her former company was being managed. The 2008 transaction came on the heels of a false-advertising class-action lawsuit that forced Airborne to pay out more than $23 million in damages. At the time, there was speculation that Knight-McDowell may have reacquired the company for less than she initially sold it for.

GF Capital has named Marti Morfitt as the new Airborne CEO. Morfitt previously served as CEO of CNS Inc., the manufacturer of Breathe Right nasal strips and FiberChoice daily fiber supplements. The company will implement a growth strategy aimed at expanding the already popular brand, according to Morfitt.

"Airborne occupies a unique place in the nutritional supplement market. We firmly believe in the company and its products, and believe that there’s tremendous opportunity for us to grow together,” said Neil Shapiro, co-founder and managing director of GF Capital. “As CEO, Marti has a proven ability to lead companies to profitable growth, expanding their brands and product offerings in the process.”

To learn more about Airborne, check out their company profile.

Related NBJ Links:
2008 Deals of the Year
M&A and Investment Activity Slows for U.S. Nutrition Industry
Supplements Stand Out As 2008 Sales Bright Spot for U.S. Nutrition Industry

Related Functional Ingredients Magazine Links:
Immune health fights the flu

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