Bayer bolsters nutrition portfolio with Schiff

Bayer HealthCare said it plans to acquire rapidly growing Schiff Nutrition International for $34 a share in a transaction valued at $1.2 billion.

The deal, described as a "bolt-on acquisition" by Bayer, is expected to close by year end. Salt Lake City-based Schiff is a 75-year-old-company known for brands such as MegaRed, Move Free and Airborne.

"This transaction represents an excellent strategic fit for our health care business," said Dr. Marijn Dekkers, CEO of Bayer AG. "The Schiff business significantly enhances our presence and position in the United States, which accounts for more over-the-counter and nutritional products sales than any other country in the world."

Tarang P. Amin, President and CEO of Schiff said the deal with Bayer would take Schiff’s brands to the next level.

"Schiff has a 75 year heritage of providing consumers with quality nutritional products. We are focused on building premium brands and leading innovation," Amin said.

Schiff two months ago projected its current fiscal year sales would increase between 43% and 46% from last year’s level of $259 million due in part to Schiff’s acquisition of Airborne in March.

"We will utilize our extensive marketing, sales and distribution expertise to further develop the strong brands we are acquiring," said Dr. Jorg Reinhardt, CEO of Bayer HealthCare. "We will also look to leverage Schiff's new technology platform