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Smart Balance Moving to Boulder as it RestructuresSmart Balance Moving to Boulder as it Restructures

October 3, 2012

2 Min Read
Smart Balance Moving to Boulder as it Restructures

COLORADO Boulder is a mecca for the fit and health-conscious and an oasis for specialty food and high-end grocery stores.

It's little wonder Smart Balance, Inc. is moving its corporate headquarters to Boulder from Paramus, N.J.

Smart Balance on Tuesday also announced plans to change its name to Boulder Brands, Inc. and establish two distinct business segments: Natural Brands, which will be comprised of the Earth Balance, Glutino and Udi's branded products; and Smart Balance, which will include branded products in spreads, butter, grocery and milk.

Three months ago, Smart Balance acquired Colorado-based Udi's Healthy Foods, LLC for $125 million, in a deal the company said makes it the fourth-largest marketer of natural foods. In the most recent quarter, the company's natural brands, Glutino and Earth Balance, contributed to a nearly 29 percent increase in total net sales ($76 million). 

"Our mission," Smart Balance CEO Steve Hughes said Tuesday, "is to become the leading health and wellness company building out and acquiring natural brands."

The company has come a long way in seven years. On May 31, 2005, it was incorporated in Delaware under the name Boulder Specialty Brands, Inc. for the purpose of acquiring an unidentified business and/or brand in the consumer food and beverage industry, according to a regulatory filing. Two years later, it completed a merger with GFA Brands, Inc., which owned and marketed the Smart Brand line of products.

In more recent times, over the course of about a year, Smart Balance has made two key acquisitions in the gluten-free space: the $66.3 million purchase of Glutino Food Group followed by the Udi's Healthy Foods deal.

In a phone interview, Smart Balance executive vice president T.J. McIntyre said the restructuring "more closely reflects who we are from a cultural, from a location and from a strategic perspective." Smart Balance now derives about half its revenues from natural foods, he said, and the company is "actually looking at other acquisitions in the natural foods space."

Under the new organizational structure, McIntyre will lead the Natural Brands segment. John Becker, another executive vice president, will lead the Smart Balance segment.

The company is moving its headquarters next summer to the heart of Boulder on 16th street and the famous Pearl street. Smart Balance continues to maintain an office in Paramus. McIntyre said Smart Balance has closed an office in Lawrence, Mass. where Glutino was based and will shutter an office in Denver, Udi's home.

"Boulder is the Silicon Valley of natural foods," said McIntyre, noting that many leaders in the industry were born in the city, which is well known for its affluence, natural beauty and liberal politics. "We are the latest incarnation of leadership in the natural foods industry based in Boulder."

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