Tess Stynes
Dow Jones Newswires
July 15, 2010

NBTY Inc. (NTY) agreed to be acquired by private-equity firm Carlyle Group in a deal valued at $3.5 billion in one of the largest transactions to take a public company private since the credit bubble burst.

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Carlyle and Blackstone Group LP (BX), two of the world’s largest buyout firms, had been eyeing the vitamin and nutritional-supplement maker, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday night.

NBTY was formerly known as Nature’s Bounty and sells products under a variety of brands including Solgar, Rexall and MET-Rx. The company has roughly $450 million in debt, a figure that will rise in the wake of the buyout.

NBTY employs 14,000 and had 2009 revenue of $2.6 billion. Roughly 60% of the company’s revenue comes from sales of its products to retailers such as Wal-Mart Inc. (WMT) and Target Corp. (TGT). NBTY also operates retail stores in several continents, including about 440 Vitamin World stores in the U.S. and 537 Holland & Barrett stores in Europe.

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