HAUPPAUGE, N.Y., July 1, 2005 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Ideasphere, Inc., (ISI) owner of the Twinlab, Nature's Herbs and Alvita Teas brands and Rebus Publishing, announced today it has entered into a purchase agreement to acquire certain assets of Metabolife International Inc., a maker of diet and nutritional supplements, which has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
The stalking horse bid for the Metabolife assets is part of a strategic plan to build the ISI portfolio of nutritional and natural products and brands dedicated to supporting and promoting healthy lifestyles. Key assets being acquired include the company's core non-ephedra brands, Metabolife Ultra, Metabolife Complete, Metabolife Ultra Caffeine Free and Metabolife Green Tea Formula; a state-of-the-art powder and tablet manufacturing facility located in Orem, Utah; and a distribution center in Memphis. The products will continue to be marketed under the Metabolife brand, which will operate as a separate division within ISI.
"This deal would be a major strategic acquisition for ISI in three important ways -- additional manufacturing, distribution and customer service capacity; expansion in the mass retail channel with a dedicated line of strong, established brands; and the addition of an international platform on which we can expand our entire wellness offering on a global scale," said Mark Fox, president of ISI. "We were able to offer a premium bid for these assets because they can be leveraged very efficiently within our existing structure and immediately integrated with our current operations."
The addition of Metabolife's state of the art Alpine laboratory and process engineering facilities significantly increases ISI's capabilities and speed of new product development. The added capacity of the Alpine plant in Orem, located within minutes of the existing Twinlab plant in American Fork, will increase ISI's production capacity by billions of dose forms of tablets and powders. The Alpine facility is producing in excess of 80 million tablets a month with a single shift, and with the combined capacity ISI becomes a leading producer of dietary supplements in all of the major dose forms of capsules, tablets and powders.
"A continuous stream of safe and effective exciting new products is a fundamental element of ISI's commitment of excellence and leadership in the health and wellness market, and the Alpine facilities give us a tremendous boost in our capacity to develop new products," said Fox.
"Despite their recent ephedra-related legal and financial problems, Metabolife has built up a strong customer following and tremendous brand equity in their products," said Fox. "The company is entrenched in the mass channel, and the addition of these lines will be a great complement to our current business with our health and natural product retail customers," Fox said. "Plus, the addition of their distribution facility in Memphis will give ISI a central distribution center for all our brands, and fits with our ongoing strategic initiative to streamline operations and create efficiencies with shared services."
Fox said Ideasphere is planning to enter the Asian market later this year, and the Metabolife brands will be a valuable addition to that platform. The Asian market entry will be led by Tony Robbins, an owner and vice chairman of ISI. Robbins is founder and chairman of the Anthony Robbins Companies, and is one of the leading motivational and performance business consultants in the world. Robbins will be developing complimentary motivational programs to leverage Metabolife in Asia, creating a broad platform on which to expand the entire ISI health and wellness offering across Asia, including China and India. Details of that expansion will be announced later in the year.
Ideasphere, Inc. was launched in 2001 to create a company that offers consumers "a one-stop wellness solution" through an integrated combination of nutritional products, science-based content and information, and healthy lifestyle programs and services. ISI is currently comprised of several SBUs:
* Twinlab Corporation, a leading manufacturer and distributor of high
quality, science based nutritional supplements and performance products.
* Nature's Herbs and Alvita Teas, one of the nations most established and
respected herb providers and a manufacturer of herbal teas for more than
* Rebus LLC, a leading consumer health and science content developer and
ISI acquired the Twinlab and Nature's Herbs and Alvita Teas brands through acquisitions in 2003. Over the past year ISI has re-capitalized and re- structured both companies from top-to-bottom, focusing on product development, manufacturing, sales and operations planning, facilities rationalization, retail and distributor relationships, and marketing and sales. The outcome of these ongoing processes can be measured in improved manufacturing output, increased sales, streamlined planning that balances customer demand, production activity and inventory levels, and continuously improving fill rates across all major SKUs to meet increased demand.
"The acquisition of these Metabolife assets is another positive step in a year that has seen tremendous growth in our business," said Fox. "Our year- to-date sales are running 20% ahead of last year, and our trend line is even better as our Q2 run rate is more than 25% ahead of last year. This momentum is going to carry us forward as we pursue other new ventures in the coming months through strategic acquisitions, partnerships and organic innovation, including the launch of new health and fitness publications to assist with the entry into Asia."
"We are starting to hit our stride and the company is now positioned to take its place as the major driver of the wellness revolution that is sweeping the world," said Bill Nicholson, CEO of Ideasphere. "We now have in place the talent, the infrastructure, the brand portfolio and the leadership to realize our vision to combine science-based intellectual content with world class natural products and innovative total health and fitness programs to capture the market potential of the wellness industry."