Calgary, Alberta – Equicapita Income Trust and Equicapita Investment Corp. (collectively “Equicapita” or the “Fund”) are pleased to announce the completion of the acquisition of an 80% equity ownership of Nutter’s Bulk & Natural Foods, a leading retailer of natural health products throughout Western Canada, by an affiliate of the Fund.
Founded in 1982 and headquartered in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Nutter’s Bulk and Natural Foods is a retailer, franchisor, and packager of vitamins, minerals, and natural, gluten free, and bulk foods. With 23 stores (11 corporate and 12 franchised) located throughout Western Canada and 150 employees, Nutter’s has developed a successful business model that attracts loyal customers, top quality staff, entrepreneurial franchisees and suppliers of unique natural personal care, health, and organic products.
“The opportunity to partner with Donald Cranston, who will remain President and the entire Nutter’s team provides Equicapita with a solid platform for continued success and added stability in the size and scope of the investment portfolio. The Nutter’s leadership team has consistently demonstrated its vision and core values in building the Nutter’s network across Western Canada”, said Equicapita Co-Founder, Michael Cook. “Nutter’s provides Equicapita with further portfolio diversification, both geographically and by industry.”
In addition to partnering with Donald Cranston, Equicapita has also engaged Darren Krissie, an Edmonton based business owner and one of the founders of Planet Organic Health Corp., to act as an advisor to Nutter’s and its Board of Directors. Darren brings considerable experience in the natural health retail segment and his expertise will be valuable as Nutter’s considers strategic value enhancing initiatives.
Consistent with our investment mandate of assembling a diversified portfolio of long established Western Canadian businesses, Nutter’s has more than 30 years of operating history serving customers in many communities across Western Canada. Nutter’s consistent history of strong profitability, along with the continuity of operations by its dedicated staff and excellent franchise operators represent cornerstones of Equicapita’s investment strategy.
The Nutter’s transaction closed on November 21st, 2016. Equicapita retained Norton Rose Fulbright (“NRF”) and Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP (“PwC”) as advisors.