December 31, 2012, 11:59 AM

The FTC investigates Vitamin Shoppe’s deal for Super Supplements

Details are sketchy, but Vitamin Shoppe has extended its planned closing date to March 1.

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The Federal Trade Commission is investigating the planned acquisition of Super Supplements Inc. by Vitamin Shoppe Inc.

On Dec. 18, The Vitamin Shoppe, No. 201 in the 2012 Internet Retailer Top 500, announced intentions to spend $50 million to buy Super Supplements Inc., a chain and e-retailer of vitamins and related items that operates 31 stores in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Vitamin Shoppe, which says it will pay for the purchase with available cash, says the deal will expand its presence in the Pacific Northwest, where it operates 17 stores.

But in a new filing with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission, Vitamin Shoppe has disclosed that the deal is now under investigation by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. Details about the investigation, including what precisely the FTC will look into, are unclear. “The FTC staff conducting the investigation has stated in a letter to the parties that the inquiry will extend beyond Dec. 31, 2012, and has not yet provided any indication as to the likely outcome or ultimate timing of its inquiry,” Vitamin Shoppe says.

As a result of the investigation, Vitamin Shoppe and Super Supplements have extended their planned date for a final deal until March 1. But Vitamin Shoppe also says as of now there is no guarantee of a final deal. “There can be no assurance as to whether and when the transaction will be consummated in light of these developments,” Vitamin Shoppe says.

Super Supplements was founded in 1994. If the acquisition is completed, in 2013 the subsidiary will contribute $75 million in revenue, Vitamin Shoppe estimates.

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