Muscle Milk owner CytoSport eyes Q4 IPO, sources say

Fri Aug 2, 2013 4:48pm EDT

Aug 2 (Reuters) - Sports nutrition beverage company CytoSport, the parent of Muscle Milk, is considering an initial public offering later this year, two sources with knowledge of the matter said on Friday.

The Benicia, California-based company, backed by private equity firm TSG Partners, has hired Credit Suisse AG to lead a potential IPO that could come in the fourth quarter of this year, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Credit Suisse declined to comment. TSG and CytoSport could not be reached immediately for comment.

Founded in 1998 by father-and-son duo Greg and Mike Pickett, the company sells protein-enhanced powders, shakes and bars. Its Muscle Milk product is endorsed by star athletes including NBA player Tyson Chandler, NFL player Clay Matthews and Major League Baseball player Ian Kinsler.

In June, Muscle Milk dropped an endorsement deal with New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez amid an investigation into the death of one of his acquaintances. Hernandez was charged with murder on June 26.

CytoSport is pursuing an IPO in a robust market for consumer-related floats, particularly involving companies with ties to the fast-growing health food industry.

Organic grocer Sprouts Farmers Market LLC saw shares more than double during the company's public offering on Thursday.

Shares of high-end grocery chain Fairway Group Holdings Corp have also soared 90 percent since the company's IPO in April.

CytoSport in 2010 launched a sales process that failed to yield a buyer.

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