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Riverside Captures Gold, Acquires Sun-Free Tanning Business August 01, 2011

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Sunless, Inc. Joins Private Equity Portfolio

The Riverside Company has been too busy to hit the beach this summer, but still found a nice golden tan with the acquisition of Sunless, Inc., a Macedonia, Ohio based manufacturer of spray tanning booths, innovative airbrush equipment, proprietary solutions, and professional-grade retail products in the booming Sunless Tanning segment of the indoor tanning industry.

Sunless, Inc. serves roughly 2,000 salon owners who operate 4,500 locations. Its products are gaining in popularity due to industry-leading innovation and their immediate efficacy, natural appearance, and value-added skin-care attributes. Sunless, Inc. was formed through the 2009 merger of Mystic Tan and VersaSpa.

“This segment of the tanning industry has been growing rapidly due to innovation that has significantly enhanced the consumer experience,” said Riverside Partner Steve Dyke. “It’s a quick, convenient, and completely professional process. Tanners can step into a booth and emerge just minutes later with a rich, natural-looking tan.”

Sunless is an industry innovator, creating technologically advanced devices and tanning solutions that have seen organic growth thanks to new customers preferring it to alternative indoor options and existing customers using a wider variety of Sunless’ products.

“We’re excited to partner with a strong management team to help continue Sunless’ growth,” said Dyke. “Given the Company’s high-quality products and focus on innovation, we see continued strong growth domestically and internationally.”

Sunless, Inc. CEO Scott Thomason is looking forward to working with Riverside.

“This deal will allow our company to accelerate its growth trajectory,” said Thomason. “We’re excited about continuing to innovate, expanding our product line, making the application of our products easier and more cost-effective, and increasing the overall sunless market.”

The Sunless transaction is Riverside’s 13th acquisition of 2011.

Working with Dyke on the transaction for Riverside were David Gold, Operating Partner; Erik Holmsen, Principal; Jim Butterfield, Principal, Origination; Bill DeLong, Associate; and Tas Tobias, Analyst.

Jones Day advised Riverside on the deal, while GE Antares Capital and Golub Capital provided senior debt. Audax Mezzanine provided subordinated debt.

The Riverside Company
The Riverside Company is a global private equity firm focused on acquiring growing enterprises valued at up to $200 million (€200 million in Europe). The firm partners with strong management teams and enhances its investments through acquisitions and organic growth. Since its founding in 1988, Riverside has invested in more than 250 transactions with a total enterprise value of more than $5.8 billion/€4.7 billion. The firm’s portfolio in North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region includes more than 75 companies with roughly 13,000 employees. Riverside completes acquisitions smoothly thanks to $3.2 billion/€2.4 billion in assets under management, more than 195 professionals in 19 offices, and longstanding relationships with partner lenders.

Media Contacts

North America and Asia Pacific
Graham Hearns
Director of Marketing and Communications
The Riverside Company
+1 216 535 2221

Europe

Sarah FlahertyMarketing and Public Relations Manager
The Riverside Company
+322 626 21 21

Media Contact

Keith Davisson
Director, Global Marketing & Communications
The Riverside Company
+1 216 535 1777