Supplements Maker Eniva Emerges From Bankruptcy

The company, which entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy mostly to exit its lease in an Anoka facility that became too expensive, has also relocated its headquarters to Plymouth.

Supplements manufacturer Eniva Corporation has emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and relocated its headquarters to Plymouth, the company said late Wednesday.

Eniva filed for bankruptcy on March 1, 2011, mostly to exit its lease in an Anoka facility where it was previously headquartered. The company was the anchor tenant in the 435,000-square-foot building, which sat on a 26-acre development owned by local real estate group Premier Anoka Partners.

When Eniva moved into the facility in 2006, Premier assured CEO Andy Baechler, and his co-owner and identical twin brother Benjamin Baechler, that it would secure more tenants, Eniva's rent would go down, and it would help the company sell excess land and find additional capital as necessary, Andy Baechler told Twin Cities Business. The Baechler brothers were actually minority stakeholders in Premier, but its “assurances weren't met,” he said Thursday. “They were very aggressive [and] put forth the best effort, but at the end of the day, they couldn't deliver what they promised Ben and I.”

No other tenants moved in, and it became too expensive for Eniva to stay in the 100,000 square feet it occupied in the building-the location of the former Cornelius Company headquarters at 1055 West Main Street.

Andy Baechler said that part of the court-approved bankruptcy emergence plan calls for Eniva to pay a $1.4 million rejection claim to the building's landlords over the next three years. It already paid $170,000 in rent that it owed for March and April of last year-the period when it occupied the space during its reorganization. Eniva moved to its Plymouth headquarters in May.

In addition to filing for bankruptcy last year, Eniva also cut costs by outsourcing 30 shipping and call center jobs to a local firm.

Andy Baechler founded Eniva with a group of Twin Cities entrepreneurs in 1998. His brother joined two years later, and the Baechlers have each held a 50 percent stake ever since. Eniva's revenues totaled more than $68 million in 2006-and Andy Baechler expects sales of about $20 million this year, which he said represents “a single-digit increase” from 2011.

Aside from Eniva's lease troubles in recent years, Baechler said the company has also struggled due to the decline in discretionary income among consumers.

“Health supplements are in that category of discretionary dollars for most families,” he said.

But Baechler is a firm believer that innovation drives revenue, and he says the company is poised for growth. In the coming months, Eniva will expand its presence in Asia, launch new products “to help fuel growth in our domestic, North American markets,” and work with distributors to provide health education to consumers, he said. Among the products that Eniva plans to introduce is an all-natural, toxin-free body care line.

“We are very confident about our future,” he added. “We've reset the foundation of the company. We've set it for long-term viability and maximum efficiency.”

Eniva's primary product, called Vibe, is an all-in-one liquid nutritional supplement. Baechler said the company's sales of the product total about $200 million to date.