UK-based sports-nutrition business Applied Nutrition has received a personal investment from the former executive chairman of retailer JD Sports.

Peter Cowgill has snapped up an unspecified stake in the Liverpool-based company, having first backed Applied Nutrition when he was in charge of JD Sports and the retail chain took a stake of just under a third in 2021.

He subsequently took up a position on the board of Applied Nutrition as a non-executive, stepping back when he left JD Sports two years ago.

Applied Nutrition CEO 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.”

Cowgill’s investment comes less than two months after Applied Nutrition unveiled AJ Bell founder, Andy Bell CBE, as its chairman, who has also made a substantial personal investment in the business.

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Cowgill said: “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. 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.”

Founded in 2014, Applied Nutrition, which sells its products in 65 countries, is the official nutrition partner of a range of English Football League clubs, including Bolton Wanderers, as well as the Scottish Premiership side Glasgow Rangers.

The group, best known for brands BodyFuel and ABE – All Black Everything – has played down recent rumours it is plotting a £1bn ($1.26bn) flotation.

In a recent interview with Just Food, Ryder said: “We are just looking at options. I would be very pressed to say we are leaning in any particular way.”