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Press release from PR Newswire

CytoSport® To Be Acquired By Hormel Foods Corporation

Monday, June 30, 2014

CytoSport® To Be Acquired By Hormel Foods Corporation

18:58 EDT Monday, June 30, 2014

BENICIA, Calif., June 30, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- CytoSport®, one of the largest sports nutrition companies in the United States and the makers of Muscle Milk®, announced today that it will be acquired by Hormel Foods Corporation (NYSE: HRL), creating one of the foremost protein and sports nutrition brand platforms with extensive domestic and international reach.  As a leading provider of premium protein products in the sports nutrition category, CytoSport's brands align with Hormel Food's focus on protein while further diversifying its portfolio and broadening the appeal to younger consumers. The acquisition also enhances the resources and capabilities for CytoSport to further develop as an industry leader in innovation, consumer experience, marketing, sales, retailer relationships and distribution on a multinational scale. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including the receipt of regulatory approvals in the United States, and is expected to close within 30 days.

CytoSport was founded in 1998 by father-son duo Greg and Mike Pickett, and has remained a family-operated business from its inception.  The company produces a complete line of sports nutrition products, including powders, shakes and bars under the Muscle Milk® brand.  The Pickett family will remain committed to the company's growth and will continue to be involved in day-to-day operations. 

"We are excited for the future of the company and are fully confident that aligning our team's knowledge and experience in the sports nutrition world with the incredibly robust global strategies of Hormel Foods, will help the company establish an even stronger portfolio of brands and products," said CytoSport Chairman and Founder Greg Pickett.  "Over the last 15 years we've developed one of the strongest brands in the industry and built an entirely new protein beverage category with Muscle Milk.  This next step in the company's growth story will enable CytoSport to continue its leadership role in the industry and be a part of a global company with greater resources.  My family is extremely proud of where the company sits today and grateful to the passionate people who have been a part of this extraordinary adventure."  

TSG Consumer Partners, CytoSport's strategic equity partner, is also selling its stake in the company.  "We are fortunate to have partnered with the Pickett family and the management team to help drive the company's success over the last seven years," said Brian Krumrei, Managing Director at TSG Consumer Partners. "During this period, Muscle Milk has established a leading position in the protein beverage category and sales have more than quadrupled.  This transaction represents an exceptional outcome for CytoSport, TSG Consumer Partners and Hormel Foods. We look forward to watching the company's continued success under new ownership."

CytoSport and Hormel Foods share strong corporate values and are passionate about making a difference in the lives of consumers and active lifestyle enthusiasts in local communities throughout the United States and the world.  The acquisition will allow for further community investment and growth through the sports nutrition and food industries. 

"We view this new opportunity as a tremendous way to expand the CytoSport brand presence on the global scale and align with a company that shares our commitment to employees and consumers," said CytoSport Co-Founder Mike Pickett.  "With the support from a multinational company like Hormel Foods, the entire CytoSport team is confident in the direction of the brands and look forward to continuing to share the brands' experiences with consumers around the country and the world."   

Credit Suisse is serving as the exclusive financial advisor to CytoSport in connection with this transaction while Dean Bradley Osborne Partners has represented the Pickett family. 

About CytoSport®CytoSport®, Inc. is one of the largest sports nutrition companies in the United States and provides high quality nutritional products to help athletes and active lifestyle individuals achieve their peak performance potential.  The company was founded in 1998 by father and son duo Greg and Mike Pickett, and operates its NSF International GMP for Sport? registered facility at its headquarters in Benicia, Calif. The CytoSport team is dedicated to working with sports scientists, coaches and trainers to redefine protein-enhanced products to promote workout recovery, lean muscle growth and sustained energy.  CytoSport helps in building athletes from the inside out?  with a complete line of powders, shakes and bars, including the Muscle Milk® brand, an award-winning protein line used by professional athletes, collegiate athletic departments and fitness enthusiasts everywhere.  CytoSport was named 2009 Small Company of the Year at the annual Beverage Forum presented by Beverage Magazine and Beverage Marketing Corporation and was named one of CircleUp25's 2013 most innovative companies according to Forbes.  In 2014, Fast Company listed CytoSport as one of the world's top 10 most innovative companies in fitness. 

About Hormel Foods Hormel Foods Corporation, based in Austin, Minn., is a multinational manufacturer and marketer of consumer-branded food and meat products, many of which are among the best known and trusted in the food industry. The company leverages its extensive expertise, innovation and high competencies in pork and turkey processing and marketing to bring branded, value-added products to the global marketplace. The company is a member of the Standard & Poor's (S&P) 500 Index, S&P Dividend Aristocrats for 2013, was named the 2013 Sustainable Supply Chain of the Year by Refrigerated & Frozen Foods magazine, and was again named one of "The 100 Best Corporate Citizens" by Corporate Responsibility Magazine for the sixth year in a row. Hormel Foods was recognized on the G.I. Jobs magazine list of America's Top 100 Military Friendly Employers in 2012 and 2013, and named one of the 2014 40 Best Companies for Leaders by Chief Executive magazine. The company enjoys a strong reputation among consumers, retail grocers, foodservice and industrial customers for products highly regarded for quality, taste, nutrition, convenience and value. For more information, visit http://www.hormelfoods.com.

About TSG Consumer Partners LLCTSG Consumer Partners LLC is a leading investment firm with over $2.9 billion in equity capital under management, focused exclusively on the branded consumer sector. Since its founding in 1987, TSG has been an active investor in the food, beverage, restaurant, beauty, personal care, household and apparel & accessories sectors. Representative past and present partner companies include vitaminwater, Smart Balance, popchips, Yard House, Smashbox Cosmetics, Pureology, e.l.f. cosmetics, Planet Fitness and Revolve. For more information please visit www.tsgconsumer.com.

SOURCE CytoSport

For further information: Brittany Cranston, Brittany.Cranston@cytosport.com, C: 504.234.9077

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