US private equity firm Highlander Partners has announced its acquisition of nutritional gummy manufacturer Hilo Nutrition.
Headquartered in Ohio, Hilo offers a range of nutritional products in confection formats, with a particular focus on sports nutrition and performance.
The company’s portfolio of ‘performance gummies’ includes Pre-workout, Sleep Recovery, Muscle Builder and Gametime products.
Texas-based Highlander Partners has a portfolio of food, beverage, health and wellness companies from around the world.
The company has previously made a number of investments in the confection industry through portfolio company Bettera Brands, including most recently the acquisition of soft chew manufacturer Nutravail.
In addition, in 2018 Highlander acquired European packaging group Huhtamaki’s confectionery portfolio, including brands such as Jolly Rancher and Milk Duds. This was shortly followed by its acquisition of Indiana-based gummy maker Queen City Candy.
Following its acquisition of Hilo, Highlander says that it plans to accelerate the company’s growth by targeting a larger but more focused audience and through continued innovation of Hilo’s product offerings.
This growth strategy also includes strengthening Hilo’s direct-to consumer business and ‘aggressively’ expanding distribution.
Hilo co-founders Andrew Sauer and Eric Torgeson will reportedly remain in the same leadership positions within the company under Highlander’s ownership.
“We are thrilled to join the Highlander family of businesses. Their strong operating experience in retail, digital, and manufacturing is unparalleled and will undoubtedly accelerate Hilo to the next level,” said Andrew Sauer, president of Hilo.
“Our ability to invest in all areas of growth will now be super-charged by our combination of talents.”
Commenting on the acquisition of Hilo, Highlander president and CEO Jeff Hull said: “We believe the company has significant growth opportunities, which will be amplified by increased consumer awareness, product innovation, and expanded distribution.
“This acquisition underscores Highlander’s desire to invest in high-quality branded companies. In particular, Highlander has a significant track record in the health and wellness industry, which we are confident can be applied to Hilo.”
The financial terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.