Nestle eyes vitamin boost in talks to buy Bountiful Company

Zurich, Switzerland: Nestle said Monday it was in talks to snap up US vitamin and nutritional supplements maker The Bountiful Company, as the Swiss food giant expands its presence in the health nutrition sector.

Nestle said in a statement that "it is in discussions to acquire all or part of The Bountiful Company," without providing more details.

The statement came after the Wall Street Journal reported the acquisition talks Friday, citing unnamed sources close to the discussions.

The US firm is majority-owned by private-equity firm KKR, which is a filing to take it public earlier this month described it as the biggest purely nutrition-focused company in North America and one of the three biggest in the world.

Founded in 1971, the company makes vitamins, minerals, and other nutritional supplements and employs some 4,500 people worldwide.

It has been valued by analysts at $5-7 billion.

Nestle has recently pursued a range of acquisitions in health nutrition, considered a growth area.

Last year, the world's largest food and beverage company acquired the Zenpep drug for digestive problems and took majority control of US firm Vital Proteins.

It also concluded its purchase of US allergy treatment company Aimmune Therapeutics and with it that firm's Aimmune Palforzia treatment to help reduce the frequency and severity of peanut allergies in children.

Nestle's first big acquisition since Mark Schneider took the reins in 2017 was of Canadian vitamin maker Atrium Innovations.

Vontobel analyst Jean-Philippe Bertschy said purchasing The Bountiful Company would be "fully in line" with Nestle's strategy.

"The Bountiful Company would propel Nestle into a market leader position in the highly attractive VMS (vitamins, minerals, and supplements) segment," he said in a note.


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