Daily News: February 15, 2018

SSG Advises Vitamin World in Asset Sale to Feihe Int’l

SSG Capital Advisors acted as the investment banker to vitamin and supplement retailer Vitamin World in the sale of substantially all of its assets to an affiliate of Feihe International. The sale was effectuated through a Section 363 process in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.

After being carved out of its parent company in February 2016, Vitamin World began operations as a standalone retail business. Following the carve-out, the company experienced challenges related to supply chain and inventory management. Additionally, its profitability suffered due to above-market rents and underperforming stores.

These circumstances prompted management to develop strategic initiatives, such as recalibrating the store portfolio and reducing fixed costs. In order to implement this restructuring plan and strengthen its capital base to fund future growth, Vitamin World filed for protection under Chapter 11 in September 2017.

SSG was retained in November 2017 to solicit offers for the business. SSG conducted a comprehensive marketing process that generated four competitive bids to be the stalking horse. China-based Feihe International’s stalking horse offer was ultimately deemed the highest and best offer. The fast-tracked sales process enabled Vitamin World to maximize value, preserve jobs and maintain the loyalty of vendors and customers.

Feihe International is the largest domestic-brand baby formula supplier in China and recently announced its plan to introduce imported and high-end health and nutrition products to the Chinese market.