Equity Firm Acquires Ranir

April 14, 2005
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GRAND RAPIDS — Ranir/DCP Corp. yesterday announced its acquisition by Linden LLC, a Chicago-based private equity firm focused on health care and life sciences.

While terms of the transaction were not disclosed, it appears that the new entity, Ranir LLC, has consolidated its corporate headquarters into its manufacturing facility at 4701 East Paris Ave. SE. As late as this month, the company had been based in West Orange, N.J.

A leading private-label and contract manufacturer of consumer oral care products, Ranir manufactures and markets tooth-whitening strips and gels, toothbrushes, dental floss, travel kits and accessories for customers across North America.

Its products include national brand equivalents (NBE), non-NBE private-label items and exclusive store brands, as well as contract manufacturing for major label oral care companies. In a statement, the company reported its sales growth had consistently outpaced the industry average. Analyst clearinghouse Thomson Gale estimates its 2003 revenues at $64 million.

Current management, including Chief Executive Officer Christine Henisee and Chief Financial Officer Joe Townshend, will continue to lead Ranir, and the former owners will maintain a minority investment in the company.

Claudie Williams, formerly of Johnson & Johnson and executive vice president of a diversified holding company with investments in health care, joins the company as vice president of marketing and business development.

No layoffs are planned for Ranir’s 250 employees, the statement said.

“Teaming with Linden will accelerate our growth through continued focus on superior quality, customer service and category expertise coupled with enhanced new product development capabilities, increased manufacturing efficiencies and streamlined business processes and systems throughout our company,” said Henisee.

“We will further develop a world-class private label and contract manufacturing business that markets products that retailers are proud to have their name on and consumers know the value in buying.”

Henisee noted that sales of tooth-stain removers and whiteners have increased significantly since their introduction into the consumer market. Ranir is the only major private-label competitor to Crest Whitestrips in this category, she said

Linden was formed in 2002 as a continuation of a successful investment strategy developed by its principals in the 1990s at First Chicago Equity Capital.

Through a partnership with Madison Dearborn Partners, Linden is able to pursue large health care and life sciences buyout transactions requiring more than $50 million in private equity capital. It pursues smaller transactions with its own funds.

“We are pleased to be participating in growing segments of the $17 billion global oral-care market,” said Eric Larson, founder and managing director of Linden.

“Ranir combines innovative, high-quality products with excellent customer service demanded by leading retailers. We expect continued growth from the ongoing shift of cosmetic dental products from the professional market to the consumer market, most notably for whitening products, steady increases in sales of private-label store brands and potential expansion beyond our current geographic markets.”    

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