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Bayer to acquire Utah nutritional products maker for $1.2B

| Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, 10:26 a.m.

Bayer Corp.'s health care unit plans to buy a Salt Lake City producer of vitamins and nutritional supplements for $1.2 billion, or $34 a share, the company said on Tuesday.

Bayer, the U.S. subsidiary of Bayer AG, said it expects the deal for publicly traded Schiff Nutrition International Inc. to close by the end of the year. Schiff is known for making Airborne and MegaRed, among other products.

“Bayer is committed to augment its organic growth with strategic bolt-on acquisitions,” CEO Marijn Dekkers said. “This transaction represents an excellent strategic fit for our HealthCare business.”

Bayer Corp. is headquartered in Robinson. Its health care unit is based in New Jersey.

The Schiff deal follows two other U.S. purchases by Bayer in the past several months.

Bayer's CropScience business in August acquired AgraQuest Inc., a California maker of biological pest management products, for $425 million plus future performance-based payments. In September, Bayer said it would buy the U.S. animal health business of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Inc. for $145 million.

Schiff had sales of $259 million for its fiscal year ending May 31. It acquired the Airborne product in March, which will help lift sales this year by 43 percent to 46 percent, the company said.

Schiff employs about 400 people at its headquarters and manufacturing operation in Utah and an office in Emeryville, Calif.

“We believe Bayer is well-positioned to take our leading brands to the next level,” Schiff CEO Tarang Amin said.

Also on Tuesday, Bayer reported North American sales of $2.89 billion in the July-September quarter, up 9 percent from the same period last year.

Overall, Bayer AG reported net income in the quarter of $684.5 million, down 17.8 percent from last year. Earnings were reduced by $462 million in one-time charges. The company said it set aside $266 million to settle claims that its Yasmin line of oral contraceptives cause blood clots.

Bayer sales were up 11.5 percent to $12.5 billion.

“Business developed favorably at HealthCare, especially in North America and the emerging markets,” Dekkers said.

Alex Nixon is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7928 or anixon@tribweb.com.

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