Ideasphere completes Metabolife deal

By Dominique Patton

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags New product development

New York-based Ideasphere said yesterday that it has completed the
acquisition of certain assets of Metabolife International, the
supplement maker famous for its ephedra products.

Metabolife has been operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection since July, after being hit hard by the costs of lawsuits concerning consumption of its flagship ephedra products.

After it filed for bankruptcy protection, Ideasphere - also the owner of the Twinlab and Nature's Herbs brands - offered $23 million for Metabolife's core non-ephedra brands, a state-of-the-art powder and tablet manufacturing facility in Utah, and a distribution center in Memphis.

Although it rescinded the offer in September, claiming that the beleaguered supplements company was not meeting its obligations under the July agreement, yesterday's announcement from Ideasphere suggests that the firms reached a new deal.

Neither were available for comment at the time of publishing.

Ideasphere said in a statement that it had acquired all assets included in the original agreement although it did not reveal the final purchasing price.

The deal will significantly expand the growing firm's manufacturing, distribution and customer service capacity, according to president Mark Fox.

"Metabolife provides us with a platform to expand distribution on a global scale,"​ he said.

Ideasphere is planning to enter the Asian market, including India and China, during 2006, added Fox.

The Metabolife acquisition is part of a strategic plan to build Ideasphere's portfolio of nutritional products. Metabolife's facilities should increase its new product development capabilities and add significant production capacity.

The Alpine plant in Orem, located within minutes of the existing Twinlab plant in American Fork, is currently producing in excess of 80 million tablets a month with a single shift, and with the combined capacity, Ideasphere becomes a leading producer of dietary supplements in all of the major dose forms of capsules, tablets and powders, said the firm.

"We will immediately integrate these assets and facilities into our operations,"​ said Fox. "One of our top priorities for the first quarter of 2006 is to develop new products, and the Alpine manufacturing facilities will become our center for research and development."

The Metabolife products will continue to be marketed under the Metabolife brand, which will operate as a separate division within the company.

"We plan to continue marketing current mass products under the Metabolife brand, and will develop new product offerings to expand both the Metabolife line as well as the Twinlab line,"​ added Fox.

ISI acquired the Twinlab and Nature's Herbs and Alvita Teas brands through acquisitions in 2003. Over the past year it has re-capitalized and re- structured both companies.

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