January 2, 2013, 10:57 AM

Blyth pays $57.4 million to boost its stake in a weight-loss product retailer

The direct marketer’s ViSalus Sciences ownership share tops 80%.

Kevin Woodward

Senior Editor

Lead Photo

ViSalus sells weigh-loss products.

Blyth Inc., a designer and direct marketer of candles, home décor and related products, has paid $57.4 million to increase its ownership to more than 80% in ViSalus Sciences, an online weight-loss products retailer, Blyth recently announced. In 2008 Blyth invested $13 million for a 43.6% stake in ViSalus.

The agreement also ensures some members of the ViSalus management team will remain in place for several years. Blyth signed five-year employment deals with ViSalus co-founders Ryan Blair, CEO, and Blake Mallen, chief marketing officer, and intends to create a management incentive plan. Blyth also will issue stock options to Blair, Mallen and Nick Sarnicola, another co-founder.

“We are extremely pleased to have crafted an agreement that meets our objectives of providing ViSalus founders and other members of their management team with an equity participation in ViSalus’ future results,” says Robert B. Goergen, Blyth chairman and CEO.

Blyth sells online through such brands as Miles Kimball, No. 271 in the 2012 Internet Retailer Top 500, As We Change, Easy Comforts, Exposures, Two Sisters Gourmet, ViSalus and Walter Drake.

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