Nestlé in talks to buy Bountiful Company

Deal for maker of Nature’s Bounty vitamins would mark latest push into health and nutrition

Nestlé is in talks to buy the company behind Nature’s Bounty vitamins and minerals in what would be the Swiss food group’s latest multibillion-dollar deal to reshape its portfolio.

The group behind KitKat chocolate bars and Nescafé coffee said on Monday it was in discussions to acquire The Bountiful Company, which is backed by private equity group KKR and has been making preparations for a flotation.

“Nestlé SA today announced that it is in discussions to acquire all or part of The Bountiful Company,” the company said in a one-line statement, confirming a Wall Street Journal report last week.

Portfolio

KKR had been planning to value Bountiful at more than $6 billion (€5 billion) in an initial public offering, it was reported in January.

Nestlé has been selling off less profitable parts of its portfolio and pushing into health and nutrition under chief executive Mark Schneider.

Its disposals included a deal struck this year to sell several US and Canadian bottled water brands for $4.3 billion to private equity companies One Rock Capital Partners and Metropoulos.

Nestlé, alongside consumer goods rivals such as Reckitt Benckiser, has at the same time been adding to its interests in healthcare. Not long after Schneider took charge in 2017, Nestlé bought Canadian supplements maker Atrium Innovations in a $2.3 billion deal.

Supplements

Vitamin and mineral supplements have sold particularly well during the coronavirus pandemic as consumers turned to products they hoped could improve overall wellbeing and boost immunity.

The trend helped push Nestlé last week to its fastest quarterly sales growth in a decade, with results driven by other lockdown consumer habits such as drinking coffee at home.

Bountiful sells a range of health products including supplements, probiotics and multivitamins. The company, based on New York’s Long Island, produced net sales of more than $2 billionn in the year to the end of September.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2021

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