Linden Capital Partners LLC, a Chicago-based healthcare private equity firm, has completed the acquisition of Merical Inc. Headquartered in Orange, California, Merical is an industry-leading developer, manufacturer, and packager of probiotic and other nutritional supplements. Founded in 1965, the company’s approximately 400 employees across several facilities provide value‐added research and development, manufacturing, and packaging services to many of the world’s most recognized retailers and nutritional supplement brands.
Dean Baltzell, Founder of Merical, stated: “We are proud of our accomplishments since our founding and, with the support and guidance of Linden, I am confident that Merical will continue its strong legacy of customer service and innovative products.”
Jeff Stallings, President of Merical, commented: “We are excited to partner with Linden. They bring an excellent cultural fit, a unique blend of both contract manufacturing and pharmaceutical expertise, and an extensive network across the healthcare industry.”
Going forward, Baltzell will continue to serve Merical through his role on the Board of Directors and as an investor in the company.
“Linden looks forward to building upon Merical’s excellent platform in probiotics, one of the highest-growth subsectors of nutrition and digestive health,” said Linden Managing Partner Brian Miller. The Merical investment continues Linden’s subsector-driven strategy, representing its third contract manufacturing sector investment, after Ranir and Flexan.
Linden named Operating Partner Brian Smith as interim CEO. Mr. Smith has over twenty years of experience in healthcare-focused manufacturing, having most recently served as CEO of First Engineering, a global provider of finished medical devices with over 3,000 operating personnel worldwide. Linden Operating Partner Chris Kolber has also joined the Board.
Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as legal advisors to Linden. GulfStar Group and Payne & Fears LLP served as financial and legal advisors to Merical. PNC Business Credit and certain private and public debt funds managed by THL Credit Advisors LLC provided financing for the transaction.