Weird Story

Snacks Company Owner Made $220 Million Mistake That Earned Him $5 Billion

Despite making a costly mistake worth $220 million, the owner of a snacks company's gamble paid off as it resulted in a staggering return of $5 billion.

The amazing tale of Daniel Lubetzky, the individual responsible for Kind Snacks, is recounted here.

Nowadays, the business has become ubiquitous - you can visit any grocery store and find Kind's nourishing snack bars, which are renowned for their deliciousness and use of identifiable components like nuts and whole grains.

However, in 2008, the company was not nearly as renowned as it is presently.

In CNBC Make It's The Moment series, it was revealed that the company's inception relied on a $16 million investment from the private equity firm VMG Partners.

One crucial provision outlined in the contract stated that Lubetzky was required to sell his enterprise within five years in exchange for the investment.

Although it appeared to be an excellent decision at the time, after four years, he observed the expansion of Kind and felt that he was still the ideal individual for leading the company.

"Four years into the deal, I was realizing that Kind could become so much bigger," he told the outlet.

"My investors were pushing me to sell the company, and were very eager."

"My vision was to continue growing the company for many years to come. And their vision was to exit and get a return on their investment."

Lubetzky was confronted with a significant dilemma: either surrender the company and potentially miss out on one of the most significant undertakings of his life, or figure out a means to repurchase the enterprise from VMG.

Although the second alternative appeared to be more favorable, he would need to secure $220 million for the acquisition and potentially gamble losing everything.

He opted to take a leap of faith, although the decision was not taken lightly.

Lubetzky continued: "I had a very strong feeling, informed by our momentum, that this was not the end — nor the beginning of the end — but the beginning of the beginning. And I wanted to keep going."

"But that was a scary moment. What if something goes wrong? Then, all of a sudden, you have so much debt, and you could maybe even lose your company."

"I had sleepless nights. We probably had a loan of, like, $200 million."

Despite conducting thorough research and being aware of Kind's promising future, there were always potential factors that could go awry.

Moreover, the negotiation process was far from straightforward and dragged on for years, finally concluding in 2014.

According to CNBC, his determination certainly reaped great rewards - sales doubled in that very year. Furthermore, when Lubetzky ultimately sold Kind to Mars after six years, it was supposedly valued at an astonishing $5 billion.

"I am still a meaningful stakeholder in Kind today, and I still guide them," Lubetzky explained.

"We've agreed with our partners at Mars that Kind will be a separate standalone platform, and Kind is still growing by double digits."

"It's not just about me having achieved more financial success with this path. There is a possibility that Kind would have not reached the tens of millions of consumers that it reaches every day now."