Reckitt Benckiser buys Schiff Nutrition

Reckitt outbid German rival Bayer, paying $1.4bn for US company as drug companies focus more on additional markets

Reckitt Benckiser is entering the multibillion vitamin and nutrition market with the $1.4bn (£880m) acquisition of Schiff Nutrition.

Reckitt outbid its German rival Bayer for the US company as it seeks to broaden its personal products range in North America.

Reckitt's chief executive, Rakesh Kapoor, said: "Schiff's portfolio is an excellent fit with our strategic focus on health and hygiene, where in healthcare in the USA we already have Mucinex, Delsym, Cepacol and Durex as major brands."

Drug companies are focusing more and more on additional markets to offset declines in the prescription drug market and competition from generic rivals.

The global business in vitamins, minerals and supplements is worth about $30bn and is expected to grow further. Germany's BASF this week bought fish oils maker Pronova BioPharma for $845m to boost its position in health supplements.

The purchase of the Salt Lake City based firm brings Reckitt a new portfolio including MegaRed for heart care, Move Free for joints and Tiger's Milk nutrition bars to add to existing health products such as Gaviscon for heartburn and Strepsils for sore throats.

Synergies should be realised as soon as possible, said Kapoor. Schiff's board of directors approved the previously announced cash tender offer of $42 a share and recommended shareholders accept the deal. Reckitt, well-known for brands such as Calgon, Vanish and Cillit Bang, expects the tender offer to close before the end of the year.

Bayer said earlier this week that it would not increase its own offer of $1.2bn, or $34 a share. As Schiff had already agreed to Bayer's offer it will pay the German comany a $22m fee to terminate the earlier deal.

Reckitt's tender offer of $1.4bn represents a high premium and expresses the expectations the Slough-based company has for this business field. Shares of Schiff rose 0.1%. Its shares are up nearly 81% since the beginning of the bidding war in late October. Shares of Reckitt added 0.6% in an upbeat UK market.


Nadine Schimroszik

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Reckitt Benckiser to stop selling suboxone heroin tablets in US
Heroin substitute suboxone pulled after study shows pills are more likely to be accidentally taken by children

Simon Bowers

25, Sep, 2012 @1:38 PM

Article image
Reckitt Benckiser set to float US arm RB Pharmaceuticals

Chief executive Rakesh Kapoor has been keen to focus the company on its 19 'powerbrands' such as Durex condoms and Finish dishwasher tablets

Jennifer Rankin

28, Jul, 2014 @7:37 AM

Article image
Reckitt's $1.4bn trumps Bayer deal for Schiff Nutrition
British drug company tops German rival's $1.2bn agreement as battle for vitamin and supplements market intensifies

Simon Neville

16, Nov, 2012 @11:28 AM

Article image
Reckitt Benckiser faces inquiry over move to block heroin substitutes
Company's exclusive right to market cheaper Suboxone tablets in the US has expired and it expects a substantial hit to profits

Simon Bowers

25, Feb, 2013 @8:09 PM

Article image
Reckitt Benckiser to pay $1.4bn fine over opioid treatment sales
Nurofen maker reaches deal with US over alleged fraudulent marketing of Suboxone

Sean Farrell

11, Jul, 2019 @8:36 AM

Article image
Demerger only viable option for Reckitt Benckiser and RB Pharmaceuticals
Suboxone nice to own when yielding easy profits but reinventing drug arm probably best undertaken by standalone management

Nils Pratley

28, Jul, 2014 @3:44 PM

Article image
Reckitt Benckiser fined £10.2m by OFT
Drug company stopped NHS doctors prescribing cheaper alternatives to its heartburn medicine Gaviscon

Julia Kollewe

15, Oct, 2010 @10:44 AM

Article image
Reckitt Benckiser upbeat despite emerging markets sales slowdown

Maker of brands including Dettol and Nurofen expects revenues to rise as firm increases sales of its 19 'powerbrands'

Sean Farrell

12, Feb, 2014 @1:44 PM

Article image
Health secretary launches legal action against Reckitt Benckiser
Reckitt Benckiser insisted it had not been served with papers and knew nothing about the action

Simon Bowers

21, Feb, 2011 @8:39 PM

Article image
Boss of Dettol maker Reckitt Benckiser unexpectedly resigns
Laxman Narasimhan surprises investors by saying he will leave for US halfway through turnaround plan

Jasper Jolly

01, Sep, 2022 @11:11 AM