Home Business Former JD Sports chief Cowgill snaps up Applied Nutrition stake

Former JD Sports chief Cowgill snaps up Applied Nutrition stake

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The arrival of the retail veteran as a shareholder comes as Applied Nutrition begins meeting City institutions ahead of a London float that could take place this year, Sky News learns.
City editor
Sunday 14 April 2024 13:28, UK
The former JD Sports Fashion boss who presided over its soaring stock market valuation is taking a stake in Applied Nutrition, the fast-growing sports supplement maker, as it steps up preparations for a bumper flotation.
Sky News has learnt that Peter Cowgill, who left the high street giant just under two years ago, is acquiring a multimillion pound shareholding in Applied Nutrition in a personal capacity.
Sources said the purchase would be announced by the company on Monday.
Mr Cowgill knows the Liverpool-based business well, having orchestrated the acquisition of a roughly 30% stake in it during his tenure at JD Sports.
Speaking to Sky News on Sunday, Mr Cowgill said: „Having been instrumental in executing the investment by JD into Applied Nutrition in 2021, I have been delighted by the growth and profitable development of the business.
„I have always been really impressed by the management team and am excited to make a material personal investment into the company.
„I remain confident in its continued growth and success in a rapidly expanding marketplace.”
Mr Cowgill previously sat on the board of Applied Nutrition as a non-executive, but stepped down when he left JD Sports in 2022.
Sky News revealed earlier this year that Applied Nutrition had engaged bankers at Deutsche Numis to prepare the company for a public listing of its shares.
City sources said the company would begin initial meetings with institutional investors this week to familiarise them with it.
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It has also appointed Andy Bell, founder of the London-listed investment platform AJ Bell, as its chairman, further bolstering its credentials for an initial public offering (IPO).
Founded by Thomas Ryder, Applied Nutrition formulates and makes premium nutrition supplements for professional athletes and gym enthusiasts.
It is the official nutrition partner of a range of English football clubs, including Premier League side Fulham, and the Scottish Premiership side Glasgow Rangers.
The company, which sells its products in over 60 countries, also has partnerships with professional boxers, MMA stars and in sports including basketball, cycling and rugby league.
Applied Nutrition’s largest brands include ABE – All Black Everything – which is a pre-workout range now stocked by Walmart, the world’s biggest physical retailer and former owner of Asda.
Other products in its portfolio include BodyFuel, a hydration drink.
Employing more than 200 people, Applied Nutrition has seen rapid growth in recent years, and is heading towards a £100m sales milestone during the current financial year.
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A significant chunk of that growth is expected to come from the US, where it has established a subsidiary in Texas.
Accounts for the year to the end of July last year disclosed a 74% rise in turnover to £61.2m, with earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation rising by 80% to £18.1m.
Mr Ryder and Steven Granite, the company’s chief operating officer, are also big shareholders in Applied Nutrition.
A successful listing for the company, which could take place as early as this year, would represent a boost to the London Stock Exchange’s efforts to attract fast-growing companies to float.
Decisions by a growing number of companies to shift their listings to the US – with Paddy Power-owner Flutter Entertainment becoming the latest example – have cast a pall over the City.
Last year saw the number of companies going public in London halving, with proceeds raised from initial public offerings (IPOs) falling by 40% year-on-year.
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