Pharmaceuticals giant GlaxoSmithKline has bought the company behind Maximuscle protein shakes used by rugby player Gavin Henson, cricket star Stuart Broad and footballer Jermaine Jenas.
Britain’s biggest drugmaker bought Maxinutrition Group Holdings, Europe’s top-selling sports nutrition company, from Darwin Private Equity for £162 million.
The muscle building powders will beef up Glaxo’s growing portfolio of brands that includes Ribena, Sensodyne toothpaste and Lucozade.
Maxinutrition, which also owns Maxifuel dietary supplements and Maxitone muscle toning supplements for women, has increased its sales by 21% over the last three years to £36 million in the year to April 2010.
John Clarke, Glaxo’s president of consumer healthcare, said, “This deal will give (Glaxo) a strong presence in the fast developing protein-based sports nutrition market, appealing across a broad spectrum of consumers from elite athletes to sports participants and those seeking additional nutritional supplementation.”
The brands are currently sold in Europe but Glaxo will market them around the world, added Mr Clarke.
Peter Boddy, chief executive of Hemel Hempstead-based Maxinutrition, said: “Maxinutrition is a fast growing, focused sports nutrition business with excellent growth prospects and a strong management team – it’s a natural fit for (Glaxo) and its ambition to extend and expand its nutritional healthcare business.”
Last month the Brentford-based company announced it would create about 1,000 jobs and invest £500 million in manufacturing following tax reforms announced by the Government.
It said a planned 10% reduction in corporation tax on profits generated from UK-owned intellectual property would allow the firm to develop new technology, build new facilities and invest in fledgling companies.
Glaxo has research bases at Stevenage and Ware in Hertfordshire and Harlow in Essex.