NEW YORK, May 27, 2004 -- Ripplewood Holdings L.L.C. and Activated Holdings LLC today announced that they have acquired Shaklee's worldwide business from Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. for approximately $310 million. The partnership of Activated and Ripplewood will own approximately 81% of Shaklee's equity; 19% of the equity will continue to be publicly traded on the JASDAQ.
Concurrent with the announcement, Roger Barnett, Managing Partner of Activated Holdings, was named Shaklee's new Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Barnett, whose family owns Activated Holdings, said he plans to relocate to San Francisco to lead the company, with its U.S. headquarters in Pleasanton, CA.
Shaklee manufactures and sells nutritional, personal care, air and water filtration and biodegradable household products and is one of the largest direct marketing companies in the world, with operations in the United States, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico and Canada. Shaklee products are sold through a network of more than 700,000 members.
Mr. Barnett said, "We are very excited about our investment in Shaklee. The company operates in a highly fragmented, $80 billion a year industry with enormous growth potential. There is every reason to believe that Shaklee has excellent expansion opportunities in both its existing markets as well as in new markets around the world, which we have already begun to actively explore.
"Our confidence in Shaklee's future is based on its core strengths -- namely its wonderful and loyal distributors, and high quality products, which are among the most trusted in the industry," added Mr. Barnett.
"As we begin this new chapter in Shaklee's history, one of my goals will be to restore the strong values that Dr. Shaklee instilled throughout the organization nearly five decades ago. These values and the high standards of excellence set by Dr. Shaklee are more relevant today than ever before," Mr. Barnett concluded.
Rob Berner, Managing Director or Ripplewood, said, "Shaklee is a wonderful company with a superb product portfolio, including 45 patents. We have great confidence in Roger's leadership qualities and industry experience, as an owner/manager, to identify new opportunities for growth. He will no doubt instill new levels of excitement and energy into the Shaklee brand."
Since its formation in 1956, Shaklee has been a leading provider of premium quality, natural, environmentally friendly nutrition, personal care, and household products. The Shaklee brand is synonymous with high quality and efficacy, representing one of the most well established names in the nutritional supplement and direct selling industries. The company's strong and loyal customer and distributor base has supported the company over the last 47 years. With a robust product portfolio, including 45 patents worldwide, Shaklee operates in Japan, the U.S., Mexico, Malaysia and Canada and has over 700,000 members worldwide.
About Activated Holdings
Activated Holdings LLC is an investment vehicle of a private family holding company controlling over $2 billion in assets. Activated principals have experience managing businesses in international global consumer marketing and the pharmaceutical, cosmetics, direct marketing and direct selling industries.
About Ripplewood Holdings
Ripplewood Holdings L.L.C. manages approximately $10 billion of capital, focusing primarily on investments in the U.S. and Japan. Ripplewood's U.S. portfolio holdings include Asbury Automotive (ABG) ; WRC Media, Inc. and Direct Holdings Worldwide, the parent company to Lillian Vernon Corporation and Time Life, Inc. The portfolio companies in its Japan-focused fund include Japan Telecom Co., Ltd., the Phoenix Seagaia golf and destination resort, recording label Columbia Music Entertainment, auto-components manufacturer Niles Co., Ltd. and electronics component manufacturer D&M Holdings Inc. In 1999, a Ripplewood-led consortium purchased Shinsei Bank Ltd. (formerly the Long Term Credit Bank of Japan, Ltd.) whose stock successfully commenced trading on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in February of this year.