Goli acquired after securing stay of bankruptcy

By Asia Sherman

- Last updated on GMT

© Tippapatt / iStock / Getty Images Plus
© Tippapatt / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Related tags goli Apple cider vinegar Gummies acquisition

Goli Nutrition has avoided bankruptcy proceedings in Canada and entered into a definitive acquisition agreement with a consortium that includes Group KPS, Bastion Capital and one of the company’s original founders.

"We are excited to enter into this acquisition to enable Goli to unlock new growth opportunities and do what it does best in bringing innovative products to consumers worldwide," said Felipe Preciado, CEO of Group KPS, which currently distributes Goli products in Mexico. 

The transaction will allow the business to operate with a much stronger balance sheet to drive this growth, according to a press release that accompanied the announcement. 

The rise of Goli

Founded in 2018 by Michael Bitensky and Deepak Agarwal, the Canadian supplement company burst onto the market with its “world’s first” apple cider vinegar gummies in 2019 in support of digestion, complexion, weight reduction, body detoxification, heart health and energy levels. 

It had set up operations in West Hollywood, CA and quickly attracted a roster of A-list celebrity cheerleaders including Ellen DeGeneres, Jennifer Lopez, Alex Rodriguez, Myley Cyrus and Demi Lovato, as part of what would grow into a 100,000-strong army of influencers.

Goli’s sales were soaring, and the company was building a resume of accolades including ranking as an Amazon Prime Day top seller and being named to Newsweek’s list of America's Fastest Growing Online Shops in 2022.

"As we continue to introduce innovative products, our commitment to consumers remains focused on making wellness an accessible, delicious part of daily routines,” Bitensky said at the time.

That commitment, infused with a $100 million investment from VMG Partners in 2021, continued to grow a portfolio that today includes Pre+Post+Probiotic Gummies, Ashwaghanda Gummies, Beets Cardio Gummies, Dreamy Sleep Gummies, Women’s Complete Multi Gummies, Complete Kids Multi Gummies, Triple Action Immune Gummies, SuperGreens Gummies, Women’s PMS Gummies, Extra-Strength Sleep Gummies and Superfruits Beauty Gummies.

Although the brand appeared to have tapped into all the hot supplement categories and to be joyfully riding the gummy wave—supported by bright eye-catching packaging, quirky advertising spots, a reported five million D2C consumers and some 100,000 retail placements globally, things were increasingly less glamorous behind the scenes.

By 2023, Goli had incurred considerable losses and legal fees tied to several class-action lawsuits related to allegations of false health claims, a trademark infringement action​, and an ongoing legal feud with its former contract manufacturer Better Nutritionals. 

Bankruptcy and acquisition proceedings

In the statement announcing the acquisition, Goli said that the transaction has the full support of the company's lenders and is part of a pre-packaged process under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) in Canada.

The company confirmed that it had obtained an initial order from the Superior Court of Quebec on March 18, 2024, which provides for a stay of proceedings that will allow the company to move forward with the transaction. Three days later, Goli took its Chapter 15 filing to a Delaware bankruptcy court​ to request a provisional stay of U.S. collection and enforcement actions. 

While the acquisition remains subject to court approval in Quebec and the United States, Goli says that operations will continue uninterrupted during this process and that it is retaining members of the original management team.

Canaccord Genuity Corp. is acting as financial advisor, and Bennett Jones LLP is acting as legal counsel to the acquirer group. Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP is acting as legal counsel to Goli. The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

"Over the next two quarters, Goli plans to release four new groundbreaking innovations—staying true to the brand of bringing high quality, innovative and efficacious products to consumers worldwide," a Goli spokesperson told NutraIngredients-USA.

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