Boards approves $1.4 billion Reckitt offer as Bayer pulls out of running

The billion-dollar tussle between German healthcare giant Bayer and UK consumer products firm Reckitt Benckiser over Schiff Nutrition has been resolved with Reckitt winning out.

Bayer announced a $1.2 billion (£750 million) deal to buy Schiff, a US company specialising in vitamins and nutritional supplements, in October. But earlier this month, Reckitt offered $1.4 billion, prompting Bayer to rule itself out.

The Schiff board has now signed a merger agreement with Reckitt, formally paving the way for the acquisition.

‘We are confident that our considerable expertise in building great consumer brands will drive sustainable growth and shareholder returns from this transaction,’ said Reckitt boss Rakesh Kapoor.

Schiff was worth $259 million in sales in its 2011–12 financial year and currently employs 400 people at its headquarters and manufacturing site in Salt Lake City, Utah, and offices in Emeryville, California. Its portfolio includes big brands in the joint care (Move Free), cardiovascular health (MegaRed) and immune support (Airborne) markets.