Former JD boss takes stake in Applied Nutrition

Former JD Sports exec chairman takes ‘multi-million pound’ stake in £61m-turnover Merseyside sports nutrition venture ahead of possible stock market flotation. Tony McDonough reports

Applied Nutrition
Applied Nutrition exports to more than 60 countries around the world


Former JD Sports execution chairman Peter Cowgill has taken a “multi-million pound” stake in Knowsley-based sports nutrition business Applied Nutrition.

Mr Cowgill is familiar with the sports nutrition business which turns over more than £60m a year. JD acquired a 30% stake in Applied Nutrition while he was at the helm of the sports and fashion retailer.

Earlier this year Sky News reported Applied Nutrition had appointed bankers at Deutsche Numis to prepare the venture for a public flotation.

Founded in 2014 by Kirkby-born Tom Ryder, the company has established itself as one of the fastest-growing privately owned sports nutrition brands in Europe. Its ABE workout products are stocked in hundreds UK gyms.

Operating from a 100,000 sq ft manufacturing facility in Knowsley, Applied Nutrition exports its products to more than 60 countries. It partners with football clubs, including Glasgow Rangers and Fulham, as well as MMA, basketball and rugby professionals.

In the 12 months to July 31, 2023, the firm saw revenues rise 73% to £61.2m and an 82% uplift in pre-tax profits to £17.7m.

After JD took a stake in Applied Nutrition, Mr Cowgill joined the board as a non-executive. He stepped back from the role when he departed JD two years ago.

Since leaving JD, he has followed Applied Nutrition closely and has now decided to make a personal investment. It comes less than two months after Applied Nutrition unveiled AJ Bell founder, Andy Bell, as its chairman. Mr Bell is also an investor in the business.

Applied Nutrition chief executive Tom Ryder said: “We are very proud to have Peter Cowgill investing in our business and reaffirming the belief he had in us back in 2021 when heading up JD Sports.

“JD has been a great partner since the initial investment and post Peter’s departure the JD team has continued to be very supportive and a pleasure to work with.

“Peter is a very successful retail leader on a global scale and having him alongside us as an investor shows how much he believes in our brand and the future of our business.”


Applied Nutrition
Applied Nutrition is Rangers’ official sports nutrition partner


Mr Cowgill added: “When I first met Tom and the team, I was immediately impressed with their operation and the strength, commitment and ambition of the management team.

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“Applied Nutrition clearly has an in-depth knowledge of its market and the opportunities which prevail. I had no hesitation in proposing an investment on behalf of JD, which I am delighted has been a rewarding success.

:I have continued to follow the progress of the business and observed its enduring rapid expansion. I welcome the opportunity to be involved again and to support this British success story. I am confident in its future development.”

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