HEALTH

Gryphon Investors acquires majority stake in C. B. Fleet Co.

BY Michael Johnsen

 

LYNCHBURG, Va. — Gryphon Investors, a San Francisco-based middle market private equity firm, announced Monday that it has acquired a majority stake in C. B. Fleet Co. Fleet’s management team, along with several additional investors, will hold minority stakes alongside Gryphon. 
 
Fleet Labs, headquartered in Lynchburg, Va., and family-owned since its founding in 1869, operates in the personal healthcare and over-the-counter industry with product lines including Summer’s Eve, Fleet, Norforms, Pedia-Lax, Phazyme and Boudreaux’s. The company has a presence in North America, Asia Pacific and Latin America. 
 
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
 
“Fleet Laboratories has a commanding position in the OTC and personal healthcare product areas, which we have closely followed for several years," stated Dennis O'Brien, a partner at Gryphon. "We believe the OTC sector is poised for continued expansion as consumers migrate toward more economical non-prescription products and that Fleet has unique and differentiated capabilities to serve these markets. Additionally, the company’s strong brand advantage in the personal healthcare segment under the leading feminine hygiene brand, Summer’s Eve, is a springboard for strong future growth.”
 
As part of the transaction, Steve LaMonte, a Gryphon advisor and a senior executive in both OTC and personal healthcare businesses who has held leadership positions at Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer and Schering-Plough, will become chairman of the board. CEO Jeff Rowan and the existing management team will remain with the company.
 
"Fleet Laboratories has a long history of innovation and responsiveness to customer needs, which is coupled with a growing acceptance and awareness of OTC and personal healthcare products among consumers, resulting in a well-run company with a bright future," commented Keith Stimson, also a Gryphon partner. "We welcome Jeff and his team and look forward to working with them on the growth initiatives that will allow Fleet to continue to deliver exceptional results and reach its full potential as a leading player in its industries. Fleet Laboratories is a true platform that provides an excellent opportunity from which to make numerous add-on acquisitions in desirable categories.”
 
Houlihan Lokey acted as exclusive financial advisor to Gryphon and TM Capital acted as exclusive financial advisor to Fleet on the transaction. Kirkland & Ellis acted as legal advisor to Gryphon and Hunton & Williams and Edmunds & Williams were the legal advisors to Fleet Labs.

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NADDI: NPLEx curbing homegrown methamphetamine production in Alabama

BY Michael Johnsen

LUTHERVILLE, Md. — The National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators on Friday highlighted the latest results achieved by Alabama's real-time, stop-sale pseudoephedrine tracking system.
 
The National Precursor Log Exchange system automatically blocks unlawful pseudoephedrine purchases at the point of sale, and helps flag meth suspects for law enforcement. Police officers and narcotics agents often set up NPLEx "watch lists" that notify them via email when a meth suspect attempts to make a PSE purchase. The most recent NPLEx data show that in Alabama, the technology has blocked the sale of 56,050 boxes of medicine containing pseudoephedrine since the start of 2014, keeping 138,225 grams out of the hands of potential meth criminals.
 
Additionally, Alabama sold 15% fewer boxes of PSE compared to the same period in 2013. The number of individual purchasers was further reduced by 12.5%.
 
Alabama's NPLEx system works in concert with the state's drug offender block list, which prohibits drug offenders from being able to purchase PSE-based medicines. Together, the technologies have helped produce a decline in meth labs across the state — from 720 in 2010 to 154 at the end of 2013. That progress is ongoing.
 
"Alabama is stepping up efforts to take the fight directly to meth criminals, and NPLEx is proving to be an integral part of that," said Charles Cichon, executive director of NADDI. "With a strong foundation provided by tough anti-meth laws, the state has already made some great gains in this battle. These NPLEx numbers show meth cooks and their associates are taking notice. As NPLEx helps Alabama law enforcement officials curb domestic methamphetamine production, they will be able to focus further on the even greater threat of imported meth from Mexico."

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Prestige Brands expands partnership between Goody’s and NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.

BY Michael Johnsen

 
 
MARTINSVILLE, Va. — Prestige Brands on Monday reiterated that it is expanding its partnership between Goody's and NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. The announcement was first made at the Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500 at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday. Earnhardt went on to win the race.
 
The expanded partnership marks the first time Earnhardt — who has been a spokesperson for Goody’s for the past two years — will drive a Goody’s-sponsored car. Beginning in 2015, and extending through 2017, Earnhardt will drive the No. 88 Goody’s car in one race each year in the NASCAR XFINITY Series.
 
“It has been a pleasure having Dale Jr. as a partner on the Goody’s team,” said Joseph Juliano, brand director for Goody’s. “His success on the track and his commitment to his fans is an inspiration to all of us. We're thrilled he won our sponsored race at Martinsville — it is the perfect start to our expanded partnership.”
 
During pre-race ceremonies, Goody's and Earnhardt also premiered a new video and launched the #Fastest88 Trivia Contest. Beginning Oct. 26, racing fans will have 88 days to enter the contest for a chance to win one of two grand prizes or one of 11 additional prizes.
 
“Working with the Goody’s team has been a great experience for me, and I am excited to be expanding our partnership,” Earnhardt said. “Goody’s is a special brand with many fans that are devoted to its fast pain relief. I am looking forward to meeting some of those fans through the #Fastest88 contest.”
 
The #Fastest88 contest will extend for 88 days, and fans will be quizzed on Earnhardt-related trivia questions. Every eight days from the start of the contest, questions will refresh, with 11 winners being selected by correctly answering the five questions with speed and accuracy. Two grand-prize trips to attend NASCAR races in Martinsville, Va., and Fort Worth, Texas, will be awarded to entrants selected in a random drawing from entries with the highest average score. Contestants can visit Fastest88.com for rules and information.
 
Goody’s Powder, part of the Prestige Brands portfolio, became the first non-automotive sponsor in NASCAR in 1977 when it signed the legendary Richard Petty as a spokesperson. Petty’s partnership with Goody’s thus started one of the longest-running relationships in sports promotion. Earnhardt is a third-generation NASCAR driver and two-time Daytona 500 winner. He has won the National Motorsports Press Association Most Popular Driver Award for 12 years in a row.

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