Michael Klim tells how he scored a $2 million investment in Milk & Co, but misses out on an Olympics sales spike

Michael Klim has secured a $2 million private equity investment in his company Milk & Co and is expecting a spike in sales from the Olympics, but he admits the sales boost could have been bigger.

The private equity division of Blue Sky Alternative Investment has acquired a “significant minority stake” in the former Olympian’s skincare brand, which Klim owns with his wife, Lindy.

Klim started the Milk & Co venture in 2008 as a line of men’s skincare products, a year later Lindy Klim identified an opportunity to develop a range of natural skincare products specifically for babies and ‘Milk Baby’ was launched.

The products are sold in 15 countries around the world, with retailers including Boots in the UK, Sephora in Singapore and Boshiwa in China.

Klim told SmartCompany that the aim was to grow the business and to further its overseas expansion.

“Blue Sky and Milk & Co crossed paths a few months ago. They are a fantastic private equity company that look at opportunities for the people in the business and the engine,” he says.

Klim says Milk & Co is just tapping into the Asian market and wants to expand further, including launching in India.

“It’s really exciting to have this opportunity, as BlueSky can add to our business in areas where we are under-resourced, from legal to IT.”

There is also a new Milk Active range, which includes proteins and supplements, and plans for a Milk by Lindy Klim range coming out late next year, which is a skincare and sun range.

Klim says Milk & Co is hoping for an Olympics sales spike but concedes there could have been more.

“Definitely in the UK, there are a lot of expats and Aussies there at the moment. Definitely, with the Milk Active range, people take up sport more during the Olympics and naturally we hope to see a bit of a spike,” he says.

“It would have been a bigger spike if I had made the team but we won’t go there.”

Klim says even in countries where he is not as well known, his background as a former Olympian helps drive sales.

“In Korea, they love people who have achieved things and have a bit of notoriety. Even in the UK, when I presented to buyers there, they liked the story and it is a genuine story of developing the products from years of swimming in the pool and the outdoors,” says Klim.

“It is not a contrived marketing pitch, it’s a genuine story.”

Alex McNab, investment director of private equity at Blue Sky Alternative Investments, said the company was impressed with Milk & Co’s success so far.

“Milk & Co is an attractive deal for us – the brand enjoys strong equity and has built a significant footprint with very little resources and time investment. We believe it has a huge capacity to grow,” McNab said.

“Given its large global market and existing manufacturing and distribution arrangements, Milk & Co is a highly scalable business with many opportunities on and offshore, which appeals to us as a partner.”

 

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