LifeVantage proxy fight heats up as revenues cool

LifeVantage is facing a proxy fight over a steep drop in shareholder value over the past several years.

Hank Schultz, Senior Editor

September 28, 2023

3 Min Read

Network marketing company LifeVantage is facing a proxy fight over control of its board as the company’s revenues have stagnated following the pandemic. 

The multilevel marketing company that sells an array of dietary supplements has seen revenues fall from a high of $230 million to $206 million for its most recent annual report.  That represents a return to annual revenue levels not seen since about 2016. 

LifeVantage, based in Salt Lake City, is an MLM that was founded on a product called Protandim. It is mixture of turmeric (Curcuma longa), green tea (Camellia sinensis), bacopa (Bacopa monnieri), milk thistle (Silybum marianum) and ashwaganda (Withania somnifera). The company claims it lowers oxidative stress in the body via something called the Nrf2 pathway

The product was at first sold via a conventional distribution platform, but revenues and growth were disappointing.  

Switch to MLM model brought success 

The LifeVantage website claims that after the company converted to the MLM model around 2008, it quickly reached “a quarter billion dollars” in revenue. The company was buoyed at that time by a high-profile partnership with Utah superstar Donny Osmond

Annual revenue has been up and down since then. The company went public in late 2013 with annual revenues of about $183 million in the preceding fiscal year, according to the ranking maintained by industry publication Direct Selling News.  

Since then, the stock price has been on a bumpy ride. The all-time high of more than $17 a share was achieved in the weeks after the company’s IPO hit the market. The recent 52-week high of more than $16 a share came in early 2020, and the company’s shares fell to as little as $3.34 in April of 2023. 

Challengers for board seats

Restive shareholders have launched a proxy fight to gain seats on the company’s board.   

Bradley L. Radoff and Sudbury Capital Fund, who collectively own 12.8% of the outstanding stock of LifeVantage, filed a proxy statement seeking to nominate three directors to the company’s board. 

The statement and letter to shareholders claims that while the company’s products and business model offer potential for growth and increasing shareholder value, that has been stymied by Chairman Gary Mauro and “certain over-tenured directors, who lack relevant experience, have delivered persistently poor performance and taken actions that run directly counter to stockholders’ interests.” 

The statement claims that total shareholder return over the past decade under Mauro’s leadership has declined more than 70%. For benchmark comparison, the S&P Consumer Staples index increased 141% over the same period. 

The statement also calls into question LifeVantage’s $30 million sponsorship deal with local pro soccer team Real Salt Lake, claiming the company significantly overpaid for the benefits that can be realized from the partnership. 

Management claims changes already underway 

LifeVantage responded with its own proxy statement and letter to shareholders, urging that they reject the Radoff-Sudbury group’s advances. The company says the group is seeking 40% of the board seats while owning less than 13% of the shares. It further maintains that many of the changes the group is seeking are already in process under the current management and that recent financial results have been promising.

The company’s annual stockholders meeting, at which time mailed in-proxy votes and in- person votes will be tallied, is scheduled for Nov. 2, 2023. 




About the Author(s)

Hank Schultz

Senior Editor, Informa

Hank Schultz has been the senior editor of Natural Products Insider since early 2023. He can be reached at [email protected]

Prior to joining the Informa team, he was an editor at NutraIngredients-USA, a William Reed Business Media publication.

His approach to industry journalism was formed via a long career in the daily newspaper field. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin with degrees in journalism and German, Hank was an editor at the Tempe Daily News in Arizona. He followed that with a long stint working at the Rocky Mountain News, a now defunct daily newspaper in Denver, where he rose to be one of the city editors. The newspaper won two Pulitzer Prizes during his time there.

The changing landscape of the newspaper industry led him to explore other career paths. He began his career in the natural products industry more than a decade ago at New Hope Natural Media, which was then part of Penton and now is an Informa brand. Hank formed friendships and partnerships within the industry that still inform his work to this day, which helps him to bring an insider’s perspective, tempered with an objective journalist’s sensibility, to his in-depth reporting.

Harkening back to his newspaper days, Hank considers the readers to be the primary stakeholders whose needs must be met. Report the news quickly, comprehensively and above all, fairly, and readership and sponsorships will follow.

In 2015, Hank was recognized by the American Herbal Products Association with a Special Award for Journalistic Excellence.

When he’s not reporting on the supplement industry, Hank enjoys many outside pursuits. Those include long distance bicycle touring, mountain climbing, sailing, kayaking and fishing. Less strenuous pastimes include travel, reading (novels and nonfiction), studying German, noodling on a harmonica, sketching and a daily dose of word puzzles in The New York Times.

Last but far from least, Hank is a lifelong fan and part owner of the Green Bay Packers.

Subscribe and receive the latest insights on the health and nutrition industry.
Join 37,000+ members. Yes, it's completely free.

You May Also Like