New Chapter was founded by Paul and Barbi Schulick in 1982. In response to the P&G acquisition, Mr. Schulick released two statements explaining why the deal was a good move for New Chapter. “We started in the 70’s with a health food store and a healing mission,” he said. “We recognized the healing power of herbs and whole food supplementation at a time when they were yet to be discovered by most, even within our own industry. We wanted to share our enthusiasm for herbal healing with the world.”
In comments provided to Nutraceuticals World, Elizabeth Ratchford, P&G’s corporate external relations representative, said theacquisition was consistent with P&G’s Health Care business strategy, which is “to enter/expand fast growing categories that serve the wellness and aging mega trends.”
“This includes the VMS category,” said Ms. Ratchford. “The category’s size and growth potential are very attractive and the acquisition of New Chapter and its premium line of products will accelerate us toward the growth goals of our health care business.”
The Brattleboro Reformer reported New Chapter would “continue normal operations, becoming and wholly-owned subsidiary of P&G,” with Mr. Schulick becoming executive vice president of science and innovation; Ms.Schulick becomingvice president of organization and culture, and P&G’s Kyle Garner to become the new CEO.
Thomas Finn, P&G’s president of global health care told the newspaper his company had been looking to get in on “a growing market.”
Mr. Schulick commented that the deal arose out of New Chapter’s search for increased capital in 2010. “We had several companies and financial investors that expressed interest in not just a partial investment but in a full merger, or ownership of our company,” he said. “As we contemplated this possibility, the idea of taking on a strong partner, one with broad international presence became a very intriguing thought, a potential exponential mission expander, as well as an opportunity to satisfy the long-term investments of our loyal shareholder base.”
He said he longed for a partner who would uphold New Chapter’s unique mission and admitted he had some initial misgivings about P&G as a corporate entity. “We had our own host of fairly entrenched stereotypical attitudes about giant corporations,” he said. “But what we have come to realize in this process is that in the same way there are few companies that carry the values and commitment of New Chapter, there are even fewer corporations that carry the unparalleled commitment to quality, trust and excellence that is foundational to Procter & Gamble.”
Mr. Schulick added that P&G’s investment in New Chapter was proof that a large global mega brand recognized “the power of nature’s healing” and believed “in its promise to transform global health and wellness.”
“They have shared with us that they have evaluated close to 20 companies in our industry and none have met their standards, until now,” he said, and noted that in terms of future opportunities, the sky’s the limit. “Procter & Gamble has the ability to turbocharge our mission while sustainably delivering the wisdom of nature to people and planet in ways we never even imagined. Procter & Gamble brings extensive expertise to our partnership, but what’s important to note is that these are complementary skills, not redundant ones.”
In addition to buoying sales, Mr. Schulick also looked forward to P&G’s expertise as it related to clearing various regulatory hurdles. “We will more effectively navigate the increasingly complex regulatory landscape and simultaneously strengthen our quality, supply chain and science platforms,” he said. “Procter & Gamble shares our commitment and fascination with innovation and has the resources to dramatically boost our research and development of new products.”
In comments provided to the newspaper, Mr. Schulick said the agreement with P&G offered his company a wonderful, global opportunity to increase the visibility and acceptance of vitamins and supplements. “For us, this has been a dream come true,” he said. “This is what we have been wanting to do since we started doing this 30 years ago. The world and the United States need this. This has to happen.
“We have endured an era in which health foods were considered an oddity and the scientific community uniformly dismissed the notion of herbal therapeutics,” he continued. “We have stood firm and played our part to assist in a cultural shift, and now we celebrate a time when natural foods products are in virtually every mass market chain and pharmacy.”