Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but Alacer says it produces almost 500 million packets of Emergen-C annually, with products sold in health food stores, supermarkets, drug stores, mass merchandisers and club stores nationwide.
“We are very pleased that the Emergen-C family of products will become part of Pfizer’s portfolio,” said Paul Sturman, President of Pfizer Consumer Healthcare.
“We expect that our global network and deep expertise in dietary supplements combined with our desire to provide consumers with high-quality products will make Emergen-C more accessible than it has ever been before.
“Emergen-C products add to and greatly complement our market-leading dietary supplement portfolio.”
Sales of vitamin C supplements – the biggest single category in the vitamins and minerals market - were up 2.8% to $221.27m in the year to October 1 across conventional and natural channels combined, according to figures provided to NutraIngredients-USA by SPINs.
While vitamin C sales were down 2.4% in the natural channel (natural supermarkets excluding Whole Foods) to $31.43m, they were up 3.7% in the conventional channel (FDMx) to $189.85m.
In January, Pfizer CEO Ian Read told attendees at the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco that the company was still planning to offload its $1.87bn nutrition division, with Nestlé, Danone, Abbott Laboratories and Heinz still in the running.
Last year, Pfizer agreed to sell hard-capsule manufacturer Capsugel for $2.375 billion in cash to an affiliate of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co L.P. (KKR).
A spokesperson for Pfizer told NutraIngredients-USA.com: "The acquisition of Alacer Corp., will fall within Pfizer’s Consumer Healthcare business. As such, this doesn’t impact the evaluation of strategic options for our Nutrition business.
"We have said that we would continue to pursue bolt-on business development activities that support our strategies. For example, in December 2011, we acquired Ferrosan’s consumer healthcare business, which strengthens our presence in dietary supplements as well as expand our footprint."
Ron Fugate, President and CEO of Alacer said that being acquired by Pfizer marked“the beginning of an exciting new chapter for Alacer and the Emergen-C health and wellness brand.
“By becoming part of Pfizer, we can access the resources and reach that will help us support healthy, active lifestyles across the globe.”