VIYM invests in GNC vitamins and supplements retail chain’s Russia expansion

VIYM invests in GNC vitamins and supplements retail chain’s Russia expansion

The investment firm VIYM, which specialises in growth capital and real estate investment across the CIS and Europe, announces that it has acquired a minority stake in Rusvit, one of Russia’s largest distributors of high-quality vitamins and minerals, sports nutrition and other dietary supplements. Rusvit is also the exclusive holder of a franchise of the US firm GNC Holdings in Russia, under which brand it is actively developing its own retail chain.
The stake and investment amount are not disclosed.

Attracted investment will help implement the company’s medium term development strategy, which includes a significant retail chain expansion and the development of new sales channels.

Today, the retail chain founded in 2015 has 15 stores in Moscow. All Rusvit stores reflect the GNC LIVE WELL brand’s unique identity that combines superlative client service and a tailor-made approach. Every store offers customers a full range of high-quality health, beauty, and sports products under the GNC brand, as well as other brands and high-quality product lines. In addition to developing its own retail chain, Rusvit is developing sales channels in Moscow and the regions, in addition to wholesale and online stores. In Moscow, the company works with the Doktor Stoletov pharmacy chain, online pharmacies, the OZON online supermarket, and premium fitness centres and retail chains. Rusvit is also actively developing its regional sales reach through cooperation with regional distributors and pharmacy chains.

The company demonstrated organic growth of over 20% in 2016, when people’s real income was contracting, and its strategic plan forecasts annual sales growth of over 30%-40% for the coming years.

Commenting on the project entry, Dmitry Schuetzle, Managing Director at VIYM, said: “We are pleased to close this deal. The Russian market for vitamins and minerals, sports nutrition and other dietary supplements is very promising. In 2016, the Russian vitamins market was valued at over 100 billion RUB, and had doubled over the past 5 years. From a consumer perspective, this market is underdeveloped, and there are no clear market leaders. Demand for vitamins, sports nutrition and dietary supplements will only continue to grow, in line with people’s improving quality of life and expanding health-consciousness. This means we can anticipate our investment will gain value in the medium-term.”

Mikhail Kuchment, a shareholder in Rusvit, said “The GNC brand, that Rusvit represents, is an undisputed leader in the production of high-quality health, beauty, and sports nutrition worldwide. We are confident that GNC’s stake on the Russian market for vitamins and minerals, sports nutrition and other dietary supplements will increase steadily, including thanks to VIYM’s involvement.”

About VIYM

VIYM (AUM USD 400mln) is an authorised Alternative Investment Fund Manager, regulated in Luxembourg and dedicated solely to private equity services for international investors seeking investment consulting, deal origination and asset management. VIYM targets those who seek a diverse and comprehensive strategy and provides them with exposure to a balanced risk/return profile between the established European markets and the fast-growing, emerging opportunities of Russia and other CIS economies. To provide stable returns and value-added upside potential, the firm varies its investments from the growth capital markets of Small and MidCaps to secure real estate investments.

About GNC Holdings

GNC Holdings, Inc. — is the leading global specialty retailer of health, wellness and performance products, including vitamins, minerals and herbal supplement products ("VMHS"), sports nutrition products and diet products. Its diversified, multi-channel business model derives revenue from product sales through company-owned retail stores, domestic and international franchise activities, third-party contract manufacturing, e-commerce and corporate partnerships. GNC Holdings, Inc. ("Holdings") was founded in 1935 and is currently headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. To date, GNC brand has a worldwide network of more than 9000 locations and online channels.