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The Company Behind the Atkins Diet Is Going Public

April 11, 2017, 4:13 PM UTC

Atkins Nutritional Holdings, the company behind the Atkins diet, agreed on Tuesday to go public and merge with Conyers Park Acquisition. The deal values the new company, called Simply Good Foods Co., at $856 million.

Roark Capital Group, a private equity firm that acquired Atkins for $301 million in late 2010, will receive $730.1 million when the deal is expected to close in June, including just less than 10.3 million shares of Simply Good Foods Co. at a value of $10 a share. The firm has a history in investing in the food industry, recently acquiring a majority stake in Jimmy John’s.

The new company will be listed on the Nasdaq exchange under the ticker “SMPL”.

Atkins, which reached mainstream popularity around a decade and a half ago when its high-protein, low-carb diet took off, now focuses on selling protein bars and other packaged nutritional cuisine. The company had previously attempted to go public at a valuation of around $1 billion in 2015, but those plans fizzled out. The company, which has now been sold five times since its founder Robert Atkins died in 2003, filed for bankruptcy in 2005 after the perception of its diet started to sour after nutritional experts criticized its focus on fatty foods and de-emphasis of fruit and vegetable consumption.

Conyers is known as a blank check company, which means it doesn’t have an established business plan aside from mergers and acquisitions. Shares of Conyers were up more than 1.5% in midday trading and more than 4% for the year.