When Billy Cyr was working as a product manager at Proctor & Gamble, he saw a great opportunity on the Sunny Delight product.
He knew it was a great business, but it just had too many years of being bounced around under the wrong ownership, so he teamed up with a group of private equity guys from JW Childs and took a tin-cup approach to Wall Street asking for money. P&G was bought out in August 2004, and now with one-third less overhead, selling off the German side of the business for a large gain and working through a series of renegotiations after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, Cyr was now projecting major sales for 2007.
Cyr, who serves as president and CEO of Sunny Delight Beverages Co., a maker of juices, has had a motto since he acquired the company — “Push a rock and can’t get it to go anywhere, but once it gets moving, you can’t race fast enough to catch it.” And that’s exactly how the business was for him. In 2007, he purchased Veryfine from Kraft. The acquisition took nine months and was paid for with cash in full. Later that year, the company also launched Elations, a drink that essentially put pills into liquid form for those consumers who didn’t like swallowing pills and vitamins each day. Today, that brand is on its way to being No. 1 in the market. In 2009, Fruit2O Essentials was launched, and in a continued effort to strategically position its products within the health-based beverage category, the drink includes the daily serving needs of fruit, vitamins, minerals and fiber.
“We take brands people don’t know what to do with and make them work,” Cyr says.
And work it does. Cyr’s leadership has established the company as a strong player in the market.
How to reach: Sunny Delight Beverages Co., (800) 395-5849 or www.sunnyd.com