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September 10, 2012

Shaklee Corporation

by SIDshoppe
SIDWP FI article 3

Shaklee Corporation is a manufacturer and distributor of nutritional supplements, weight-management products, beauty products, and household products. The company is based in Pleasanton, California with operations in Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Taiwan and China. The company sells its products through a multi-level marketing network and claims a combined base of 750,000 “members” (customers) and distributors.

History

Founding : Dr. Forest C. Shaklee created “Shaklee’s Vitalized Minerals” in 1915 before the concept of vitamins was fully understood. In 1956, Dr. Shaklee founded the Shaklee Corporation with his two sons to manufacture nutritional supplements. Shaklee chose the relatively unknown multi-level marketing business model to market his product. Starting in 1960, Dr. Shaklee began marketing organic, biodegradable cleaning products. He continually emphasized “natural” and “environmentally friendly” in his marketing messages, ideas which were not common at the time.

Expansion, divestiture, changes of ownership

Shaklee Corporation was a publicly traded company in the late 1970s and was listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The corporation began to diversify in November 1986 when it purchased the Bear Creek Corporation, a direct marketing company best known for its Harry and David Fruit-of-the-Month Club operation, from RJR Nabisco for $123 million. In February 1989 Shaklee sold its 78 percent interest in Shaklee Japan to the Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical Company for $350 million, while maintaining its licensing agreement and continuing to collect royalty payments from the Japanese operations. Then in March 1989, Shaklee Corporation received an unsolicited acquisition proposal from a group led by Irwin L. Jacobs, the Minneapolis financier known also by his nickname “Irv the Liquidator”. Analysts placed the leveraged buyout value of Shaklee at $35 a share. The Jacobs group had been aggressively accumulating Shaklee shares, and disclosed it currently held a 14.98 percent stake in the San Francisco-based company. Shaklee immediately declared a special dividend of $20 a share, seen as a poison pill—a way to discourage takeover interest in Shaklee, though the company disputed that view. Shaklee’s anti-takeover provisions come into play when an investor reaches 15 percent. After a few tense weeks, during which time Jacobs increased his stake in Shaklee, Shaklee Corporation announced it was being acquired by Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical for $28 a share in cash, or about $395 million. Yamanouchi’s partnership with Shaklee in Japan helped make the transaction possible, and cast Yamanouchi as a “white knight” in helping Shaklee fend off the hostile takeover bid by Jacobs. Jacobs announced he would not challenge the Yamanouchi bid and the deal with Yamanouchi was quickly finalized.

Shaklee became a privately held company

In April 2004, Yamanouchi sold Shaklee Corporation to American billionaire Roger Barnett, managing partner of Activated Holdings LLC, for $310 million. Bear Creek and the Harry and David line was sold to Wasserstein Perella & Co. for $260 million. Shaklee is committed to being green.

Reception

Shaklee’s Scientifically Advanced Vita-Lea Iron Formula multivitamin was tested by ConsumerLab.com in their Multivitamin and Multimineral Supplements Review of 38 of the leading multivitamin/multimineral products sold in the U.S. and Canada. The multivitamin passed ConsumerLab’s test,[16] which included testing of selected index elements, their ability to disintegrate in solution per United States Pharmacopeia guidelines, lead contamination threshold set in California Proposition 65, and meeting U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) labeling requirements.

A landmark nutrition study compared users of Shaklee vitamins and supplements with users of leading multivitamins and people who took no vitamins or supplements over a 20 year period. The authors found a statically significant reduced risk of diabetes in Shaklee vitamin users, according to the self-reports of medical history by those users. They also find more favorable concentrations of chronic disease-related biomarkers such as HDL cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood of long-term Shaklee vitamin users, as well as a lower risk of elevated blood pressure, compared to the control groups. However, as the authors note, the Shaklee vitamin users were generally of a higher socio-economic status than the non-useres. Better access to health care as well as a healthier life style among the members of the Shaklee vitamin user group may account for some or all of the differences between the groups.

Customers

NASA – Beginning in 1993, Shaklee started providing NASA with a customized rehydration beverage for use by Shuttle astronauts.

Olympic athletes – Some of the athletes that use Shaklee products are: Craig Blanchette, Laurie Brandt, Kent Bostick, Eli Bremer, Sandra Gal, Bill Demong, Kris Freeman, Zach Krych, Adam Moore, Reilley Rankin, Jennifer Rodriguez, Carl Rundell, Roz Savage, Darin Shapiro, and Ashley Wagner.

Source: Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia

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