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Twinlab goes public with reverse merger

Twinlab logo
The supplement company's unconventional route to the public market primes it for strong future growth.

On Wednesday, September 17, Twinlab Consolidation Corporation (TCC) completed a merger with Twinlab Consolidated Holdings (TCH). TCC had previously acquired Twinlab Corporation, a dietary supplement brand with deep roots in the natural & specialty retail channel. The reverse merger of TCC into the public shell company TCH opens up Twinlab for trading on the public market under the ticker TLCC.

In an era of IPOs, Big CPG buyouts, and private equity takeovers, Twinlab's taken a more sinuous and unexpected financial journey--but one that has nonetheless primed the company for organic and accretive growth, and left it free of the heaviest of its debt burden.

"Why not go conventionally public?" Twinlab CEO Tom Tolworthy asked, rhetorically. "Because we want to build working capital to fuel growth and future acquisitions." Tolworthy shopped the company around to private equity companies, but none could go along with the ownership and control structure he wanted to position Twinlab as a leader in this industry. He considered the IPO route, but it was easier to get a handful of private investors to buy large amounts of stock at entry level prices with few contingencies.

"We've seen great multiples lately in private sales to private equity and strategics," Tolworthy said, "but I'd like to be able to control that, and not build value exclusive to private equity."

The dust settles
Twinlab has been on a financial roller coaster over the last several years--it's seen a bankruptcy, a buyout, several mergers, and now a taste of the public market. But now the company can settle back into the groove of rebuilding its natural retail dominances and leveraging its manufacturing and brand assets to build out its portfolio. No more acquisitions or mergers are expected through the end of the year, but we can expect some movement from the company in 2015.

"The dust settles from here," said Tolworthy. "No more financial hurdles to make."

Now's the time for Twinlab to put its newfound capital where its mouth is in order to make a meaningful impact on the dietary supplement industry.

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