Carlyle in $3.8bn vitamin take-private

The firm is paying a 57% premium over NYSE-listed NBTY’s recent average closing price.

The Carlyle Group has agreed one of the largest LBOs this year: a $3.8 billion take-private of NBTY, a New York Stock Exchange-listed nutritional supplement company formerly called Nature’s Bounty.

An equity investment of undisclosed size will be made from Carlyle Partners V, which closed on $13.7 billion in 2009. Debt financing is being provided by BofA Merrill Lynch, Barclays Capital and Credit Suisse, according to a statement.

A spokesman declined to detail the deal's debt to equity ratio. He also declined to say how much of Fund V would be left to deploy should the deal close by year's end as expected.

The firm’s offer of $55 per share in cash equates to a 57 percent premium over NBTY’s average closing price for the 30 days ended 14 July, the statement noted.

NBTY has a 35-day go-shop period to solicit alternative offers.

The head of Carlyle’s consumer and retail team, Sandra Horbach, praised the company’s senior management team and noted NBTY has well-established brands as well as “a proven vertically integrated multi-channel/multi-geography strategy and strong, long-standing customer relationships”. 

NBTY has more than 22,000 products with brands including Nature’s Bounty, Vitamin World and MET-Rx.

Carlyle’s fifth buyout fund comprises seven portfolio companies including US bank BankUnited, consulting business Booz Allen Hamilton and nursing home chain HCR Manor Care.