July 15, 2010, 12:51 PM

NBTY looks for a boost from new owners

The Carlyle Group plans to acquire the vitamin and supplement retailer for $3.8 billion.

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NBTY Inc., a manufacturer, marketer and online retailer of vitamins and supplements, will soon be under new ownership.

NBTY, No. 131 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, announced this morning it will be acquired by The Carlyle Group, a Washington, DC, private equity firm with more than $84.5 billion in assets, in a stock deal valued at $3.8 billion. Under the terms of the deal, Carlyle will pay $55 per share for all of NBTY’s outstanding common shares.

A final date to close the transaction has yet to be set, but the board of directors for both companies has approved the deal, says NBTY.

Carlyle is financing the deal with a combination of equity from Carlyle Partners V, a $13.7 billion U.S. buyout fund, and external debt financing from BofA Merrill Lynch, Barclays Capital and Credit Suisse, the investment banker says.

NBTY, which sells online at Puritan.com, VitaminWorld.com and NaturesBounty.com, is making the deal because it wants more resources to grow as a global business, says CEO Scott Rudolph. "We will leverage Carlyle's global resources and consumer sector knowledge to further drive the company's global growth,” says Rudolph.

NBTY, which had 2009 web sales of $104 million, for the second quarter of fiscal 2010 ended March 31 reported:

  • Sales increased 18.3% to $705 million from $596 million in Q2 of the previous fiscal year. For the first two quarters, sales increased year over year to 15.4% to $1.5 billion from $1.3 billion.
  • Net income was $47 million, up 104.3% from $23 million in Q2 of the previous fiscal year. For the first two quarters, net income increased year over year 229.7% to $122 million from $37 million.
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