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A photo shows a jar containing capsules and pills/AFP

Kenya

Reckitt agrees to buy Schiff Nutrition for $1.4 billion

A photo shows a jar containing capsules and pills/AFP

LONDON, Nov 22 – Reckitt Benckiser, the household products and drugs group, said Wednesday it had agreed to buy US-based Schiff Nutrition for $1.4 billion (1.1 billion euros) after German group Bayer pulled out of bidding.

“Reckitt Benckiser Group today announces it has signed a definitive merger agreement with Schiff Nutrition International, Inc. — a leading provider of branded vitamins, nutrition supplements and nutrition bars in the United States and elsewhere,” said a statement.

“The Board of Directors of Schiff has approved the transaction and will recommend that its stockholders tender their shares into Reckitt Benckiser’s previously announced cash tender offer of $42.00 per share, valuing Schiff at $1.4 billion.”

German chemicals and pharmaceuticals giant Bayer on Tuesday withdrew from the battle to buy Schiff Nutrition after deciding against increasing its offer worth $1.2 billion.

Schiff Nutrition, based in Salt Lake City, Utah, has a workforce of some 400 and generated sales of $259 million in its business year ending on May 31.

It is a leading maker of vitamins and nutritional supplements and its brands include MegaRed, Move Free and Airborne.

Products made by Anglo-Dutch group Reckitt include Dettol surface cleaners, Durex condoms and Nurofen pain relief pills.

“We are very pleased to have reached a mutually beneficial agreement with Schiff and are excited to enter the $30-billion global vitamins, minerals and supplements market with such a strong portfolio of high quality branded business in the USA,” Reckitt chief executive Rakesh Kapoor said in the statement.

“Schiff’s portfolio is an excellent fit with our strategic focus on health and hygiene, where in health care in the USA we already have Mucinex, Delsym, Cepacol and Durex as major brands.”

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