Nestlé To Acquire Vitamin Maker Atrium Innovations For $2.3 Billion

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Nestlé has agreed to buy Atrium Innovations from a group of investors led by Permira Funds for $2.3 billion, the Swiss consumer-goods maker announced on December 5.

The world's largest packaged food company said on Tuesday it will buy the maker of vitamins, probiotics and meal replacements from a group of investors led by Permira Funds.

The company says that this move supports its "pursuit of growth opportunities" in the consumer healthcare sector, and will add to its extensive food and beverage portfolio. Other specialty brands in the Atrium portfolio include Wobenzym®, Douglas Laboratories®, Genestra Brands™, Orthica®, AOV®, Minami®, Klean Athlete®, Pharmax and Trophic™. Montreal-based Atrium Innovations will become part of Nestle Health Science.

Nestle, which makes Purina pet food, Nescafe coffee as well as Gerber baby food, has come under pressure in 2017 to improve its returns from Third Point an activist shareholder. Pure Encapsulations® is a full line of hypoallergenic, research-based dietary supplements, and is a leading recommended brand in the US practitioner market.

Established in 1999, Atrium's 2017 sales are expected to reach nearly US$700 million. The deal reflects comments made earlier this year by Nestle's new chief executive, Mark Schneider, who identified consumer health as a strategic priority.

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"We are very pleased to be joining Nestle Health Science as we share a common goal of helping people lead healthier lives by providing good-for-you products made with the highest standards for quality and efficacy", Mr. Luther said.

Atrium has seven factories in the United States, Canada, Europe and Argentina.

Atrium's largest brand, Garden of Life®, is a leading brand in the US natural supplement and manufactures certified organic, non-GMO supplements.

This is the fourth acquisition by Nestle in the past few months. It announced deals for Sweet Earth vegetarian foods and Blue Bottle coffee in September and Chameleon Cold-Brew coffee in November.

The transaction is expect to close in the first quarter of 2018.

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