Jenny Craig Australia folds after buyers pass on well-known business

Save articles for later

Add articles to your saved list and come back to them any time.

Jenny Craig Australia stores will close, and all employees have been terminated, after administrators were unable to find a buyer for the weight-management and nutrition business. The decision affects 73 stores and 306 employees in Australia, as well as 18 stores and 71 employees in New Zealand.

Woolworths-backed healthcare tech Eucalyptus has agreed to buy Jenny Craig Australia’s online capability. The start-up operates several brands taking in men and women’s health, fertility and skincare, all based around getting medications prescribed by doctors online.

This includes the website Juniper, which focuses on weight loss.

Jenny Craig’s Australian stores will be liquidated.Credit: Steven Siewert

The Medical Board of Australia announced last month that it would effectively ban doctors from prescribing medicine via quizzes, text or email when they had never spoken with the patient – changes Eucalyptus said it would obey.

The company is currently advertising around 50 jobs in Australia and overseas. Eucalyptus chief executive Tim Doyle said the company was pleased to give Jenny Craig a chance to keep its online presence intact in Australia.

“The company was a pioneer in helping people manage their weight through personalised weight loss programs. This underpins the modern approach to weight loss that we take through our brands such as Juniper,” he said.

“What Jenny Craig has done in nutrition is a natural complement to what we have done with Juniper in technology, health coaching and medical advice. Combining the two services will further help patients lose weight and achieve healthy lifestyles.”

Jenny Craig Australia officially folded in early May when its US parent declared bankruptcy, though at the time it continued to operate as voluntary administrators Vaughan Strawbridge, Kate Warwick and Joseph Hansell of FTI Consulting sought offers. In an update on Wednesday, FTI recommended the business be liquidated and said that all employees had been informed.

“The Administrators sought to sell the Australian and New Zealand operations of the Jenny Craig Group as a going concern, with the intent of preserving as many jobs as possible and limiting the losses for creditors and sought offers from interested bidders,” FTI said.

“The bidding and sale process resulted in 15 interested parties participating, four of which
submitted non-binding indicative offers. Despite best efforts, the Administrators were unable to find a buyer.”

A report to creditors of Jenny Craig, as lodged with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, indicated that administrators had trouble clarifying with the company’s US arm whether any new owner would be able to continue using the Jenny Craig name. This may have soured potential buyers.

Jenny Craig became a household name in Australia during the 1980s and 90s, known for its strict dieting and exercise regimes programs to help people lose weight. It changed hands multiple times in the 2000s.

The Market Recap newsletter is a wrap of the day’s trading. Get it each weekday afternoon.

Most Viewed in Business

From our partners

Source: Read Full Article