HEALTH

NBTY acquires Balance Bar from private equity firm

BY Michael Johnsen

GREENWICH, Conn. — Brynwood Partners VI on Monday announced that it has sold its Balance Bar Company, which manufactures nutrition and energy bars, to NBTY. 

The value of the deal was not disclosed, though the Wall Street Journal reported that NBTY agreed to pay about $78 million for Balance Bar, citing people familiar with the transaction. According to that report, Balance Bars enjoy significant distribution across supermarkets, giving NBTY an opportunity to expand distribution through the convenience store and drug store channels. 

Balance Bar was acquired by Brynwood in 2009 from Kraft Foods. The company, which is headquartered in Valhalla, N.Y., posted $26.6 million in sales of Balance bars across food, drug and mass (minus Walmart) for the 52 weeks ended Sept. 9, according to SymphonyIRI Group data. Sales for the period were up 4.7%, and the brand ranked No. 11 in SymphonyIRI’s nutritional/instrinsic health value bars. The category leader is General Mills Fiber One followed by Clif and Zone Perfect. 

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HEALTH

Reckitt Benckiser pursuit of Schiff Nutrition a success; companies sign definitive merger agreement

BY Michael Johnsen

SLOUGH, England — Reckitt Benckiser successfully wrapped up its pursuit of Schiff Nutrition on Friday with the signing of a definitive merger agreement in a deal valued at $1.4 billion. Bayer officially relinquished its proposed acquisition on the same day. 

“We are very pleased to have reached a mutually beneficial agreement with Schiff and are excited to enter the $30 billion global vitamins, minerals and supplements market with such a strong portfolio of high-quality branded business in the USA," stated Rakesh Kapoor, Reckitt Benckiser CEO. "Schiff’s portfolio is an excellent fit with our strategic focus on health and hygiene, where in health care in the [United States] we already have Mucinex, Delsym, Cepacol and Durex as major brands.”

Reckitt Benckiser expects the tender offer to close before the end of calendar year 2012.

"Bayer continues to believe that the transaction would have represented a logical and strategic addition for its Consumer Care business," the company stated in a press release issued Friday. "However, [Bayer] came to the conclusion that entering into a competitive bidding process would have resulted in a transaction price outside Bayer’s set financial criteria."

Bayer received a breakup fee of $22 million from Schiff, per the initial merger agreement between those two companies. 

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Black Friday shoppers in Manhattan who overindulged the day before offered relief with Di-Gel

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — Ilex Consumer Products Group successfully addressed the post-Thanksgiving gastrointestinal distress for New Yorkers who ventured out to Fifth Avenue on Black Friday with more than 2,000 samples of the company’s recently launched Di-Gel for stomach discomfort. 

Di-Gel hosted a “Comfort Zone” along Fifth Avenue in Manhattan with free, clean restrooms for shoppers. “Given the recent events in New York City, we thought this was the right time to host this event, support local businesses and make Black Friday shoppers a little more comfortable,” stated Bernie Kropfelder, EVP and general manager of OTC at Ilex Products Group.

The Di-Gel campaign, which launched with the brand tagline, “When you overdo, undo”, highlights the various triggers that lead soon-to-be users to overdo it at times, such as overeating and stress, among other things. “We all overdo it at times, and we often pay for it with an upset stomach. Di-Gel is the solution for when that catches up with you,” Kropfelder said. 

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