Vitamin Shoppe sold to Bear, Stearns

Private equity player J.P. Morgan Partners sold off $260 million cataloger/retailer Vitamin Shoppe Industries to a private equity group from New York-based Bear, Stearns & Co. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Vitamin Shoppe operates 120 stores, mostly on the East Coast. Its goal is to have 500 stores in five years. Despite a tough market for vitamins, Bears, Stearns sees heavy potential for Vitamin Shoppe, since its growth has reportedly outpaced that of competitors.