The private equity division of fund manager Blue Sky Alternative Investments has invested $2 million in Olympian Michael Klim’s company, Milk & Co.
The deal will help fund Milk & Co’s expansion through additional executive staff and working capital as the company looks to establish itself as a major global brand for natural and organic skincare products.
It presently has overseas distribution deals either signed or pending in 15 countries including with UK retailer Boots.
Alex McNab, investment director – private equity at Blue Sky Alternative Investments, said he was impressed with Milk & Co’s success so far but felt the company is “only scratching the surface” in both local and international markets.
“Milk & Co is an attractive deal for us – the brand enjoys strong equity and has built a significant footprint with very little resources and time investment. We believe it has a huge capacity to grow,” he said.
“Given its large global market and existing manufacturing and distribution arrangements, Milk & Co is a highly scalable business with many opportunities on and offshore, which appeals to us as a partner.”
The investment was made through the private equity division of listed alternative fund manager Blue Sky Alternative Investments with McNab confirming to I&T News that, unlike some of the manager’s other investments, it has not taken a partner into the deal on this occasion.
Blue Sky presently has more than $180 million in assets under management, including seed funding for Beach Burrito Company, described as a “fast casual” restaurant chain, which now turns over more than $5 million per annum.
“At the base of every investment, we look for impressive people and Milk & Co’s management team of Michael and Lindy Klim and Julie Milnes, who was previously general manager at clothing brand Metalicus, are both highly regarded in their field,” said McNab.
Michael Klim started the Milk & Co venture in 2008 as a line of men’s skincare products after he could not find anything on the market that could cope with the harsh Australian climate and the effects of pool chlorine.
A year later, his wife and business partner, Lindy Klim, developed a range of natural skincare products specifically for babies and “Milk Baby” was launched.
The products are manufactured exclusively for Milk & Co in Victoria and Tasmania and sold nationally through a range of retailers including Coles and Woolworths and at independent pharmacies and boutiques.
However it is offshore where the company may yet make its biggest splash with Boots in the UK, Sephora in Singapore and Boshiwa in China amongst the retailers signed up so far.