Nestlé Looks to Buy Maker of Nature's Bounty Vitamins -- Update
By Miriam Gottfried and Cara Lombardo
Nestlé SA is in talks to buy the maker of Nature's Bounty
vitamins for a price in the mid-single-digit billions, according to
people familiar with the matter, as the Swiss food giant pushes
further into nutritional offerings.
Nestlé could finalize a deal to buy the Bountiful Co. as soon as
next week, some of the people said, though it isn't guaranteed they
will reach an agreement. Bountiful has been planning an initial
public offering and could still opt for that path after all, or a
In addition to Nature's Bounty vitamins, Bountiful's brands
include Pure Protein, which makes protein bars, Osteo Bi-Flex
joint-care supplements and Puritan's Pride vitamins and
Bountiful is majority-owned by private-equity firm KKR & Co.
In a filing for the IPO earlier this month, Bountiful called itself
the largest pure-play nutrition company in North America and one of
three largest in the world.
Nestlé has signaled it plans to make bigger acquisitions this
year and that bulking up in nutrition is a priority as wellness
becomes increasingly important for consumers. With 8.6 billion
Swiss francs in cash at year-end (equivalent to $9.4 billion now)
and a market value of about 310 billion francs, it certainly has
the wherewithal to do a deal for Bountiful.
The company agreed to sell its North American water business for
$4.3 billion in February and inked a deal to buy ionized alkaline
water brand Essentia Water in a small transaction soon thereafter.
Nestlé, with brands including Haagen-Dazs ice cream and Nespresso
coffee pods, this week reported organic sales growth of 7.7% for
the first quarter. That marked its best quarterly sales performance
in nearly a decade, driven by coffee sales to consumers stuck at
home during the pandemic.
For years, consumer-goods companies have been paying up to add
health and wellness products to their offerings as consumers spend
more on self-care and products meant to stave off sickness or slow
aging. Nestlé has limited or no presence in vitamins; its
health-oriented brands include Boost nutritional drinks and Gerber
In the IPO paperwork, Bountiful noted it had net sales of more
than $2 billion in fiscal year 2020. The business, previously known
as Nature's Bounty, was founded in 1971 as a subsidiary of a
pharmaceutical company. It is based in Ronkonkoma, N.Y. The company
once had a retail arm in Europe, Holland & Barrett, that it
agreed to sell in 2017.
KKR in 2017 agreed to take a majority stake in a deal that
valued Bountiful at around $3 billion. It bought the stake from
private-equity firm Carlyle Group Inc., which in 2010 agreed to
take the company, then named NBTY Inc., private in a $3.8 billion
deal. Carlyle retained an interest.
Write to Miriam Gottfried at Miriam.Gottfried@wsj.com and Cara
Lombardo at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
April 23, 2021 13:14 ET (17:14 GMT)
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