Corkery and Buckley cash in as Nualtra acquired

Limerick-based medical nutrition company bought by Ajinomoto Cambrooke

Irish medical nutrition company Nualtra, whose backers include Datalex chief executive Sean Corkery and former Independent News and Media chairman Leslie Buckley, has been acquired.

The Limerick-based company has been bought by Massachusetts-based therapeutic nutrition company Ajinomoto Cambrooke for an undisclosed sum.

Founded by dietitian Paul Gough in 2012, Nualtra is focused on the delivery of nutritional supplements that are most often prescribed by doctors to those suffering malnutrition, such as elderly or cancer patients.

Earlier this year, it won a significant contract to supply its weight control product Altralife to the National Health Service (NHS) as part of a new diet programme for patients with Type 2 diabetes.

The company, which is led by Mark Lane, previously spent more than two years until 2017 in a bitter trademark row with UK rival Aymes International.

It had raised around €4 million prior to the sale from backers that include Mr Corkery and Mr Buckley, as well as Enterprise Ireland.

Nualtra’s headquarters, leadership, and team will remain the same following the deal, which is Ajinomoto Cambrooke’s fourth European acquisition.

ambrooke is a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Ajinomoto Group, which sells products in more than 130 countries and had revenues of $10.1 billion in 2019.

Mr Lane said the company received “several strong offers” for the business but said Cambrooke was the “obvious choice”.

"This is a great combination of two companies with a shared mission and one more important step forward on our quest for rapid growth in medical nutrition worldwide," added Cambrooke president and chief executive Howard Lossing.

Mr Gough is a son-in-law of Mr Corkery, a former Apple executive who also previously chaired Actavo, the building services group owned by businessman Denis O'Brien. Mr Corkery owned a stake of about 18 per cent in Nualtra.

Former IN&M chairman Mr Buckley owns a stake of about 15 per cent, with a separate tranche of shares owned by his wife bringing his family’s share up to 22.5 per cent.

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