2H 2019 Health & Wellness M&A Report

Perhaps more than in any other industry, M&A activity in the Health & Wellness industry is driven by the whims of consumer preferences. As younger generations embrace healthy living, preventive care and environmentally ethical lifestyles, expect the sector to continue to cater to those demands. SDR tracked 129 transactions across the industry in 2H 2019, and it is clear that the space has been active and a slowdown does not appear imminent. As capital flows into the sector, two of the most active segments continue to be vitamins, minerals, and supplements manufacturers (think nutraceuticals, herbs, and powder supplements) and personal care products such as beauty and wellness products. While there are examples of competitors using mergers as a platform to scale, much of the capital streams come from private equity and unrelated mega players (both public and private) looking to grow established brands. Both private equity and the mega players remain eager to tap into evolving consumer demand for products seen as more “natural,” organic, and environmentally responsible. Personal care company Burt’s Bees was an early example in both cases. No, it isn’t run by that bearded gentleman on the label, he was out of the business by 1999 and died in 2015. His cofounder sold 80% of the company to private equity in 2004 while expanding product lines, and in 2007 Burt’s Bees was acquired by publicly-traded Clorox for $925 million. The demand is here. The money is here. The Global Wellness Institute pegs the global “wellness economy” at $4.5 trillion annually. Of that, the nonprofit Research and Education Institute reports physical activity accounts for about $828 billion and personal care/beauty tops $1 trillion…

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