Bridges Consumer Healthcare LLC (“Bridges”) has announced the acquisition of Clarion Brands, LLC, (“Clarion” or the “Company”) from Swander Pace Capital, adding to its platform of North American over-the-counter (“OTC”) consumer healthcare brands. Bridges was formed in November 2020 by industry veterans Robert Long (Chief Executive Officer) and Blair Ramey (EVP and Chief Commercial Officer) and Charlesbank Capital Partners, a leading private investment firm focused on the middle market. As part of its formation, Bridges acquired the North American rights to ThermaCare® HeatWraps (“ThermaCare”). With Clarion, Bridges diversifies its portfolio, adding several premier OTC brands with strong product differentiation.
Clarion is a scale OTC business anchored by premier brands that target specialty conditions. The brands include: Florajen, a line of refrigerator-fresh probiotic supplements designed to counter the gastrointestinal side effects of antibiotics and other digestive health conditions; Lipo Flavonoid, which helps ease the symptoms of tinnitus (ear ringing); and Certain Dri, the #1 doctor-recommended clinical antiperspirant for patients suffering from excessive sweating. The portfolio also includes Cystex, Albolene, Absorbine Jr. and Anti Monkey Butt, brands that have a loyal following and differentiated positioning in need-based categories. To provide each Clarion brand with the flexibility to engage in future strategic alternatives, each such brand will be held separately within the Bridges platform. All these brands maintain a diverse customer base and distribute broadly via food, drug, mass and online retail channels.
Mr. Long and Mr. Ramey will lead the combined business, leveraging their deep experience in re-invigorating healthcare brands through innovation, marketing and distribution expansion. “The acquisition of Clarion adds a diversified group of specialty OTC brands that will accelerate our growth objectives,” said Mr. Long. “The combined scale of ThermaCare and Clarion enables Bridges to realize efficiencies to better leverage our platform, positioning it for additional expansion opportunities. We thank Gary Downing, CEO of Clarion, and his entire team for developing the Clarion brands and preparing them for the next stage of growth.”
“The specialty conditions addressed by the Clarion brands fit really well with Bridges’ commitment to help people live life to the fullest,” stated Mr. Ramey. “Our team is excited about the opportunity to grow these brands while making a positive difference in people’s lives with new product introductions, greater consumer outreach and expanded distribution opportunities.”
“We have identified significant opportunity to capitalize on the heritage and momentum of the Clarion brands, and we look forward to leveraging our experience in the OTC industry to help them grow as part of Bridges,” said Josh Klevens, Charlesbank Managing Director. “Strategic acquisitions like this will be key to the success of Bridges as a leading consumer healthcare company.”
Weil, Gotshal and Manges served as legal counsel to Bridges and Charlesbank.
About Bridges Consumer Healthcare
Based in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Bridges was formed in 2020 as a partnership between Robert Long, Blair Ramey and Charlesbank. Bridges’ mission is to build a leading consumer healthcare company focused on OTC and personal care products and driven by consumer-led innovation and marketing. For more information, please visit www.bridgeschc.com.
About Charlesbank Capital Partners
Based in Boston and New York, Charlesbank Capital Partners is a middle-market private investment firm managing more than $7 billion of capital. Charlesbank focuses on management-led buyouts and growth capital financings, and also engages in opportunistic credit investments. The firm seeks to build companies with sustainable competitive advantage and excellent prospects for growth. For more information, please visit www.charlesbank.com.