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Abbot acquires burgeoning nutrition bars business


Abbot Laboratories has paved the way for rapid company expansion in the weight control and healthy living categories following an agreement to acquire burgeoning nutrition bar company ZonePerfect Nutrition.

Still subject to approval by the relevant authorities, Abbott Laboratories will pay $160 million in cash for the fast growing business - that reported a 255 per cent rise in revenues in 2002 - thereby acquiring all of the equity.

"The acquisition of ZonePerfect Nutrition provides us with the fastest growing brand of nutritional bars, and it affords the opportunity to expand Abbott's leading position in the medical nutritional category into the healthy living segment," said Mark F. Gorman, vice president of medical nutritionals at Abbott Laboratories.

Founded in 1996, ZonePerfect Nutrition products are based on the 40/30/30 carbohydrate, protein and dietary fat ratio. The brand is squarely positioned in the centre of the rapidly growing healthy living and weight control categories.

In March this year the company said that sales of its convenience bars were up 345 per cent from 2002 in Target stores, drawing attention to the fact that overall nutrition bar sales rose by 36 per cent in the same period.

"The addition of Abbott's resources, research and development, and marketing expertise will strengthen the brand and accelerate the rate of new product introductions. Becoming a part of Abbott offers great opportunity for the ZonePerfect brand and our customers," said Christopher Baker, chief executive officer of ZonePerfect Nutrition.

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