New York-based supplement manufacturer NBTY said today it has agreed to buy the vitamin manufacturer Rexall Sundown from Dutch group Numico for $250 million in cash.
The firm said the transaction will complement NBTY's existing wholesale products and add to its sales infrastructure and manufacturing capacity. Rexall's supplement brands include Rexall, Sundown, Osteo Bi-Flex and CarbSolutions.
The deal, subject to the usual regulatory approvals, includes Rexall Sundown's production facilities, warehouses and brands. It is expected to be finalised in the third quarter of 2003.
Jan Bennink, CEO of Numico, said the sale is "an important step in the execution of our strategy to become a high-growth, high-margin specialised nutrition company".
Since an overhaul in strategy last year, the Florida-based business, which has failed to show significant growth under Numico's ownership, has been viewed as a non-core asset. Announcing the new focus on baby food and clinical nutrition last November, Bennink revealed that Numico would seek bidders for Rexall, which generated $455 million in sales in 2002.
NBTY, which makes and distributes nutritional supplements in the United States and worldwide, also owns the Vitamin World and Nutrition Warehouse stores in the US and the Holland & Barrett chain in the UK and Ireland. It recently acquired Numico's GNC franchise in the UK and has been expanding its presence in Europe for some time.
Last week there was speculation about the sale of Numico's other US business GNC, a leading vitamin retailer. Reports suggested Numico would receive informal bids for the unit on Friday but the group has not yet confirmed any offers.