At one point, Capstone Financial Group offered to put up $130 million in financing to underpin the deal. A new pathway opened up as the process went on, and Tolworthy was eventually able, through a series of transactions, to create an employee-owned company that had no debt on the balance sheet.
Even though Tolworthy had had success launching new products and cutting debt since he took over the company, considerable debt remained. The debt associated with the old Twinlab was sequestered into another entity, and Tolworthy managed to sell the idea to the company’s creditors as the best way for them to recoup their investment.
Twinlab, originally a family-owned company, was one of the first big success stories in the supplement business. The company ended up overextended and filed for bankruptcy in 2003. After the bankruptcy Twinlab, under new owners, acquired a number of brands, including Alvita Teas and Metabolife. The company ended up with a bewildering array of products, and resetting that picture was one of Tolworthy’s stated goals. The ‘reauthentication’ process is one in which the company will refocus the Twinlab brand on fewer SKUs in the natural channel. Also key to the vision for the employee-owned company, Tolworthy said, was to maintain its in-house manufacturing capactiy based in American Fork, UT.