Hormel Foods Corp., long a leader in animal protein, branches into another kind of protein with the planned purchase of CytoSport Holdings Inc., maker of Muscle Milk products. The agreement, announced June 30, makes the price approximately $450 million.
"As a leading provider of premium protein products in the sports nutrition category, CytoSport’s brands align with [Hormel's] focus on protein while further diversifying the Hormel Foods portfolio," said a company statement.
Based in Benicia, Calif., CytoSport was founded in 1998 by the Pickett family, and produces Muscle Milk products, which the two sides called the No. 1 brand in the ready-to-drink protein beverage category. 2014 annual sales are expected to be approximately $370 million.
“Muscle Milk products will serve as a growth catalyst for our Specialty Foods segment, providing this division with a leading brand in the high-growth sports nutrition category,” said Jeffrey Ettinger, chairman and president/CEO of Hormel. “The acquisition of CytoSport expands our offerings of portable, immediate, protein-rich foods, and broadens our appeal with younger consumers. Muscle Milk premium protein products further enhance our balanced business model.”