Reckitt bids to take vitamins from its rival
Nov 17, 2012 (Menafn - Daily Mail - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --THE new boss of Nurofen owner Reckitt Benckiser is following predecessor Bart Becht's acquisitive stint with a 1.4bn (pounds sterling 882m) bid for an American vitamin firm.
Rakesh Kapoor, who took over as chief executive just over a year ago, has trumped a 1.2bn agreed bid for Schiff Nutrition, which makes nutritional supplements.
The cleaning products-to-healthcare firm behind Cillit Bang, Dettol and Finish, has become one of Britain's biggest companies through a series of sizeable deals. In 2010 it splashed out pounds sterling 2.4bn snapping up Durex maker SSL.
However Reckitt's shares fell 47p to 3704p over fears it might be tempted to overpay in pursuit of its latest quarry, sparking a price war with German drugs giant Bayer.
Reckitt, which has been busy shifting its emphasis to its healthcare business, said it would offer 42 for each Schiff share, a 23.5pc premium over the 34 per share Bayer offered last month.
Analysts estimate the deal could bring cost savings of pounds sterling 25m and would add pounds sterling 240m to Reckitt's total net revenues, which represents a 2.5pc increase.
But Andrew Wood, an analyst at broker Bernstein, warned this is not a done deal. He said: "There is certainly a possibility that Bayer may announce a counter-bid to RB's offer.
"If successful with this bid, we believe this acquisition makes excellent strategic sense and good financial sense [for Reckitt]."
Schiff owns the MegaRed brand which is the leading "healthy heart" supplement in the States, along with Move Free, popular among patients with joints complaints.
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