Cooper Consumer Health ("Cooper") a leading European independent over-the-counter drug manufacturer and distributor, is pleased to announce the appointment of Bart Meermans as its new Chief Executive Officer and the agreement to acquire French consumer health food supplement business, Lashilé Beauty.
Bart Meermans has a wealth of industry experience having spent the last ten years at Reckitt Benckiser in a number of roles, most recently as Senior Vice President responsible for leading the company's health businesses in Africa, Middle East, Turkey and Pakistan. Under his leadership the regions completed a significant digital transformation, which tripled online sales. Prior to this, Bart spent fifteen years in managerial roles at Omega Pharma and Procter & Gamble. Bart will succeed Bauke Rouwers, who will step down from his current CEO role, effective immediately.
Cooper has also agreed to acquire French nutraceutical company Lashilé Beauty, the market-leader in the fast-growing gummy dietary supplement category in France. The business fits well the bolt-on strategy of Cooper, with a complementary product portfolio with attractive underlying growth, a scalable business model that can be rolled-out internationally, and strong online and digital marketing know-how.
Yvan Vindevogel, Chairman of Cooper, added: "We are thrilled to be bringing Bart on board. His wealth of experience in the sector will be central to helping us accelerate Cooper's ambitious growth plans. I also want to thank Bauke for his dedication in building the company during an extraordinary period over the last two years. We are tremendously excited about the future and in particular about our new partnership with Lashilé Beauty, a partnership which will be highly complementary to both businesses, helping us provide our customers with more ways to look after their health and wellbeing."
Bart Meermans, incoming CEO of Cooper, said: "I am delighted to join the Cooper team and I look forward to working with my new colleagues as we embark on the journey of becoming a leading European Healthcare company. I believe that providing self-care, by empowering people to take better care of their health, is meaningful and inspirational, and equally unlocking a significant runway for growth."
On the acquisition of Cooper, CVC partnered with Vemedia founder Yvan Vindevogel, specialised healthcare fund Avista Capital Partners, the management team, and Charterhouse which made a significant reinvestment in the company. The Lashilé Beauty founders will also become shareholders in Cooper. The entry into exclusive negotiations was initially announced earlier this year and the new shareholders are excited to support the company’s organic and acquisitive growth plans.