Walgreens Boots Alliance has closed B&B Investment Partners, a three-year old venture capital business run by former executives from Morgan Stanley Private Equity and the frozen foods business Findus Group.
B&B was launched by Alliance Boots in 2013 to invest in consumer brand businesses in the health, wellness and beauty sectors. The firm was able to invest up to £50 million of equity in each deal.
Alliance Boots was acquired by the US pharmaceutical company Walgreens in 2014, with the combined group now focused on the “acquisition and development of fully-owned products brands”, according to a spokeswoman.
She added: “We have mutually agreed to dissolve B&B Investment Partners and to cease the development of its specialised investment portfolio as of 31 August 2016.”
It is not known how much B&B had invested since inception but, according to its website, it put money to work in companies including Aromatherapy Associates and PhD Nutrition, which produces protein powders and nutrition bars. B&B was set up in partnership with private equity executives Jean-Philippe Barade and Chris Britton.
Barade formerly served as a managing director at the buyout arm of investment bank Morgan Stanley and also spent nine years at the private equity firm Permira. Britton is a one-time chief executive of Findus Group.
FN reported on September 12 that Barade had joined consumer-focused private equity firm, L Catterton, as a partner and head of its London office.
The decision by Walgreens Alliance Boots to shut down B&B stands in contrast to many others in the corporate sector that have been looking to increase investment in startups. Investment by corporates’ venture capital arms has grown significantly in the past five years, with 1,790 such deals globally in 2015 compared with 698 in 2011, according to data from Global Corporate Venturing.