Report: NBTY for Sale

Manufacturer/marketer NBTY, the parent company of the Puritan’s Pride nutritional supplements catalog, has hired Bear, Stearns & Co. and Bank of America Corp. to advise it on a possible sale, according to published reports. First-round bids for the company are said to be due in the first half of April.

For its fiscal year ended Sept. 30, NBTY reported $1.8 billion in sales, up from $1.7 billion the previous year. Sales from its direct response unit totaled $195.9 million, down 2% from $199.8 million the previous year.

Financial Website TheDeal.com mentioned Nestle SA, which recently acquired diet company Jenny Craig, and Bayer AG, which owns the One-A-Day vitamin brand, as potential buyers. Although the parties involved did not comment, shares of NBTY rose $4.05 on Wednesday, the day the reports were published, to $52.68.

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