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Schwabe and Nature’s Way Buy Enzymatic Therapy

Nature’s Way Holding Company, a subsidiary of leading German phytomedicine manufacturer Willmar Schwabe Pharmaceuticals, announced in October 2008 that it has purchased herb and dietary supplement manufacturer Enzymatic Therapy of Green Bay, Wisconsin. All 3 companies issued a press release that Schwabe had reached an agreement to acquire all outstanding shares of Enzymatic Therapy with North Castle Partners, LLC, the controlling shareholder of Enzymatic Therapy.1

All parties are privately-held companies so the details of the transaction, including the price, were not revealed. However, Schwabe had the benefit of the relative strength of the euro compared to the US dollar. (The value of the euro has fallen recently, dropping from about $1.60 in March to about $1.35 on October 12.) The deal closed in November.

The press release notes that both companies market herbal preparations with a significant level of clinical testing. Nature’s Way products are sold through the natural products market channel throughout the United States and in 40 other countries. Enzymatic Therapy manufactures and/or imports natural products for the natural products and healthcare channels of the United States, as well as 15 other countries.

“We are very delighted that Enzymatic Therapy, Inc. joins the Schwabe group of companies,” said Dirk Reischig, PhD, chairman and CEO of Schwabe, according to the Schwabe press release. “We do believe that the complementary product portfolios and marketing know-how of Enzymatic Therapy and Nature’s Way will significantly strengthen our presence in the US market, which is one of Schwabe’s strategic key markets for future growth. Natural healthcare solutions will become increasingly important over the next few decades. The joined forces of Enzymatic Therapy, Nature’s Way and Schwabe Pharmaceuticals will therefore contribute significantly to consumers in the USA and abroad in achieving the best possible health and quality of life.”1

“Nature’s Way and Dr. Willmar Schwabe have built their business with quality products created, produced and sold by dedicated people who care about the health and well being of the consumer,” said Rory Mahony, CEO of Nature’s Way. “Because Enzymatic Therapy has teams of great people who also have these cultural values, they make a perfect partner to bring into the Schwabe family. With the leadership of Randy Rose and the expertise resident in both Enzymatic Therapy and Nature’s Way, we will build on our strengths and continue to offer the consumer quality products that they can trust” (e-mail, October 9, 2008).

Randy Rose, CEO of Enzymatic Therapy, likewise stated, “Every associate within Enzymatic Therapy is absolutely delighted to be aligning with such a great team of people within the Nature’s Way Holding Inc. The value systems of the two organizations are aligned, as is the commitment on delivering the highest possible product quality and efficacy. I look forward to working with Rory Mahony and our collective team to elevate our mutual business with every customer as we improve the health of consumers” (e-mail, October 9, 2008).

For the foreseeable future, the new company will continue operations from both Enzymatic Therapy’s manufacturing and distribution facilities in Green Bay and Nature’s Way’s facilities in Springville, Utah. Rose will manage the company from Green Bay, assuming the role of CEO of the combined entity, and Mahony will act as the COO. Rose added, “I intend to spend significant time in both headquarter locations, as Rory and I focus on accelerating our combined company’s positive growth” (e-mail, October 14, 2008).

The new combined entity’s initial focus will be to further advance product development to bring highly effective natural health solutions onto the market. The group plans to build upon the rich heritage and advanced research and development capabilities of each of the 3 entities to further enhance natural health options.1

Nature’s Way was founded by Tom Murdock in 1968 in northern Arizona. The company moved to Springville, Utah, where it has been in operation for over 30 years, selling an extensive line of herbs, phytomedicines, and other dietary supplements. Schwabe became the sole owner of Nature’s Way, and Nature’s Way has marketed many of Schwabe’s clinically-tested phytomedicinal preparations.

Schwabe, headquartered in Karlsruhe, Germany, was founded in 1866. The Schwabe group is now recognized as the world leader in the manufacturing of herbal medicines, and it comprises 6 companies in Germany and more than 20 subsidiaries and joint ventures around the world. As a vertically integrated pharmaceutical company, Schwabe controls the entire manufacturing process of many of its products, from growing and harvesting the plants to the production of the standardized herbal extracts and the finished phytomedicinal preparations. Schwabe products are sold in over 60 countries worldwide. Schwabe developed the world’s first standardized ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba, Ginkgoaceae) leaf extract, the world’s most clinically-tested extract of hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna, Rosaceae) leaf with flower extract, and one of the world’s most clinically-tested saw palmetto (Serenoa repens, Arecaceae) fruit extracts, among others.

Enzymatic Therapy was founded in 1986 by Terry Lemerond. Enzymatic Therapy was one of the first companies to market an extensive line of high quality standardized herb extracts in the United States and later also developed a line of products for health professionals under the PhytoPharmica® label. Enzymatic Therapy has been known as a pioneer in introducing various popular dietary supplements in the United States, being the importer of the leading black cohosh (Actaea racemosa, syn. Cimicifuga racemosa, Ranunculaceae) root extract Remifemin® and other products, as well as being the initial importer and promoter of Europe’s leading glucosamine sulfate product. In 2000, Lemerond sold a controlling interest of his company to North Castle Partners, which has managed the company until this latest development with Nature’s Way.

–Mark Blumenthal


1. Dr. Willmar Schwabe Pharmaceuticals will acquire Enzymatic Therapy, Inc., USA [press release]. Karlsruhe, Germany: Willmar Schwabe; October 9, 2008.