Adam MacDougall, Man Shake, $400 Million Investment, Newcastle Knights
Newcastle Knights cult hero Adam MacDougall is said to be swimming in cash after his nutrition company Man Shake was flooded with a $400million investment.
The 46-year-old has sold a majority stake in his company Crazy Health to Australian investment giant Pacific Equity Partners.
He is now instantly one of the richest men in rugby league – and instantly one of the greatest post-career fairy tales the sport has ever known.
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The Daily TelegraphPEP brought in more than $400 million for the first time to secure a majority stake in the weight loss and sports nutrition empire that MacDougall built from his garage with his wife Belinda.
Financial Review reports that the investment firm valued the company at around $200 million before spending any money.
MacDougall ended his 16-year professional career with 195 freshman games, 11 Tests, 11 State of Origin games for NSW and two big Final wins – but the PEP buyout made public last week is his biggest ever.
“It’s a real rags-to-riches story,” MacDougall said The Telegraph.
“I started this business in my garage with my wife and it’s fantastic that a company like PEP chooses to invest in us.
“I won’t deny that we’ve done pretty well financially. But we remain fully invested in the business and will always work at it every day.
His empire is far from an overnight success story.
His path to a fitness empire was already beginning to take shape before he ended his career in 2011.
He studied at Newcastle University part-time for 12 years and earned a Masters in Business Administration, a Bachelors in Economics and a Masters in Business Coaching.
At the time of his transition from the football field to the business world, he made a series of investments in mining and real estate and also started a sports equipment business with Belinda which grew to count more than 120 employees before selling their stake in the company. .
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He said The Newcastle Herald in 2013, exactly how he got the inspiration for the Man Shake — a whirlwind moment that ended up being a $400 million idea.
He said he ended his career doing live gigs and motivational corporate talks and soon discovered a recurring theme of men struggling to maintain physical fitness in the real world.
“The corporate-type people I met were too busy to take care of themselves,” he said.
“While a lot of these guys were making a lot of money, they weren’t eating right or exercising enough.
“The more I thought about it, the more I realized that men [poor] health had become an epidemic. “About 75% of Australian men are either overweight or obese. When I started researching, I quickly realized that for busy people, diet is the most important thing. Even for people who can exercise regularly, it all depends on what you put in your mouth.
He decided to do something about it and says he consulted a food scientist, a nutritionist and a doctor to develop the formula for his weight loss products, highlighted by the Man Shake and Lady Shake.
The Telegraph reported in 2016 that MacDougall had sold everything he had to get the business up and running.
He said at the time he spent $250,000 just on product testing and focus groups during a six-month product development phase.
“I started making my own shakes,” he said.
“I was putting all that stuff in – fiber, flaxseed, green tea, whey – and I guess it was a bit bulky.
“Then I talked to a food specialist, a nutritionist and a doctor and had some ideas. I was passionate about being active and having a healthy lifestyle, and this is how I came to create the Man Shake.
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It all started as a small local online business that grew rapidly. The next step was to strike deals with local chemists before deals were struck for its products to be stocked in major national chemist and supermarket chains.
The next step – he and PEP believe – is international growth.
The company has considerable experience in managing the growth of consumer products with interests in a number of international businesses including New Zealand health products company Manuka Health and parent company of Four N Twenty Pies, Patties Foods.